Cobbe Barracks are determined to maintain their lead in the Master Security Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Premier League so as to overcome their TNM Super League promotion curse.
The Zomba-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side has been missing top-flight league promotion by a lion’s whisker for the last three seasons after finishing as runners-up, but the team’s coach Happy Phiri says they are geared to end the curse.
Cobbe top the 23-team log-table in the second-tier league despite their 2-2 draws with Fomo and Bvumbwe Research last weekend as they have 17 points from eight games. They have won five times, drawn twice and lost once.
Fomo are second with 15 points while White Eagles are third with 13 points from nine games. Mitra Icons anchor the table with a single point from two games whereas Matamando FC are second from the bottom with two points from seven encounters.
“We failed to earn maximum points in our last two matches but that will not frustrate our effort to end the promotion curse that has been tormenting us since 2012,” Phiri said.
But SRFA vice-general secretary Kingsley Simbeye said it is difficult for any team to predict how they will fair in the Premier League considering the improved standard of play among teams that have been promoted from the third-tier league.
“This season we have seen most of the newly-promoted teams performing better than experienced outfits and we cannot predict on whose favour the season will end,” Simbeye said.
Nevertheless, other teams that were once in the Super League recently—Blantyre United, Bvumbwe Research and Chikwawa United—are finding it tough in the second-tier league where they are fifth, 12th and 14th respectively. Blantyre United have 11 points from seven games; Bvumbwe have eight points from five outings; whereas Chikwawa have seven points from five matches.