In a rebuilding drive this off-season, TNM Super League clubs have, this far, laid off over 80 players with more expected to follow before the new campaign kicks off on March 21.
The 16-top flight sides, on average, have 25-member squads each meaning the total number of fired players only falls short of about 18 to reach 100, a quarter of all Super League players.
Meanwhile, observers have described the squads reshuffle as a sign of a desire to be more competitive and challenge for titles.
The 82 round figure has been calculated from seven sides. The other teams are yet to release the list of their unwanted players.
Leading the chop rankings are debutantes Ekwendeni Hammers, who told Weekend Nation that they are laying off 40 players.
“We had 60 players and 25 have been released. We are targeting a 25-member squad, including six players with Super League experience that we intend to sign,” said team manager Benjamin Thole.
Silver Strikers comes second, having released 20 players.
The Central Bankers, have signed four players and roped in Zambian coach Daniel Kabwe who, in an interview said, they intend to recruit three more players.
“I already have brilliant players. But we need depth and competition for places. That is why we need some more players, especially upfront,” said the coach, who is targeting to win the league title.
The new-signings at the Area 47-based outfit are striker Stain Davie and Foster Biton from TN Stars and Blue Eagles respectively, goalkeeper Anthony Singini from Karonga United and former Wanderers midfielder Chikondi Kamanga.
Civo United and Karonga United have each axed seven players with the hope of bringing in new faces that can invigorate their sides.
The Civil Servants dropped defenders Emmanuel Zoyaand Idrissa Walesi, midfielder Hudson Milanzi, forwards Ernest Kautsire, Chisomo Mpozanani, Christopher Phiri, Hastings Banda and Walusungu Mpata.
In an interview Civo general secretary (GS) Ronald Chiwaula said their rebuilding exercise will see them sign five players.
“We changed our recruitment policy. We won’t be signing high-profile names who are other clubs’ rejects. Already we have identified four players from community teams,” he said.
Karonga have dismissed defenders Peter Mselema and Lottie Mwakisulu, strikers Peter Banda and Yaphet Mangani and midfielders Andy Kaonga and Charles Ndalama.
Ingwina ya Karonga’s GS Ramsy Simwaka said they intend to sign five more having netted former Silver striker Sherriff Shamama, Suzgo Mwakasinga from Mzuni and Steve Saka from Dwangwa.
“We are intending to recruit eight players but only three have joined. Our target this season is to, at least, win a trophy and finish in the top four,” he said.
Be Forward Wanderers have laid off strikers Zicco Mkanda and Peter Katsonga and veteran defender Harry Nyirenda. They have roped in defender Lughano Kayira from Mzuzu Warriors. They are also on the verge of signing either former Silver marksman Mathews Sibale or TN Stars’ China Chirwa while midfielder Jabulani Linje, who for two seasons was on loan at a Japanese third-tier league side Y.S.C.C Yokohama, is set to return.
Nomads GS Victor Maunde said: “I would say 95 percent, we are done with our squad reinforcement drive. We are only remaining with a striker and it could be either China Chirwa or someone else.”
Champions Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said they are yet to be briefed by their technical panel on reinforcements and the players they intend to release.
“But some of the players we are likely to take on board are Zicco [Mkanda] and Misheck Selemani from Karonga United,” he said.
Kasungu-based TN Stars chief executive officer Jones Banda said they have released five, namely Davie Pashani, Wakisa Kalenga, Clliford Jekapu, Steve Msiska and Martin Nsewa.
He said: “We have released five players from our squad and we will finish recruiting this Friday,” he said.
Football analyst George Chiusiwa said the massive reshuffle shows teams’ discontent with their performances.
“Teams want to be competitive and this is a big sign. When you look at Silver, for example, their league performances wasn’t impressive,” he said.
Chiusiwa, however, warned that excessive squad restructuring would mean teams requiring much time to gel.
Meanwhile, Mzuzu Warriors formerly called Mzuni FC, Kamuzu Barracks and Mighty Tigers FC have also disclosed that they intend to restructure their squads.