Newly elected general secretary for Silver Strikers Mike Tembo’s first task was to organise his charges and motivate them to be in shape as they face Civo United on Sunday in the TNM Super League.
In an interview on Sunday, Tembo said they did not do well in the GOtv Challenge and Orange Partners Charity Shield because they were distracted by elections which took place at the weekend.
“There was going to be change of the executive committee and the players were participatory to that change. This was great distraction to football. That is the reason we did not perform well but now we are done with elections and our focus has shifted,” said Tembo.
He said the team resumed training on Tuesday and they have emphasised to the players the need to start the title defence with a win.
“We are now organising the team to be in shape for the Civo game. This is one of the most important games for us. We have to start with a win,” he said.
It will a be a tough match considering that Civo coach Thom Mkolongo, who has just signed a permanent contract, will want to prove to his worth to Civo management.
Mkolongo knows well that one of the reasons for the undoing of his predecessor, Alex Masanjala, was the loss at the hands of Silver.
“I know the importance of winning this game, but I will not work under pressure. I have told the players not to let pressure get into their heads, but focus on playing football,” Mkolongo said.
He said he has since persuaded John Lanjesi, Patrick Gunde and Pilirani Makupe to stay at the club. The three players were linked with a move to Blantyre teams.
“I have told them to stay and that we have a great project to finish. We have had great support from government and the players are motivated to stay,” he said.
The rivalry between Civo and Silver took an ugly turn in the pre-season when they fought over ownership of Chawanangwa Kaonga who last season played for Civo. The player is now at Silver.