It is 1994. Welcome to the Lali Lubani Road. In today’s Blantyre derby, Mighty Wanderers’ line-up unleashed is as follows: Hacklin Banda, Wilton Kaunda, Aubrey Vinkhumbo, Billiat Mkwapatira, Meke Mwase, Leonard Milanzi, Frank Mtawali, Robert Khakhi Phiri, Thom Milanzi, Albert Mpinganjira, Bob Mpinganjira.
Well, if wishes were horses, the Nomads could ride, turn the hands of time and parade the above awe-inspiring squad. Unfortunately, such classy players retired with some now deceased. Wanderers need players with character, class and physique worth the distinct blue strips.
Now, too many new and average players carry the Wanderers’ tag. Changing and chopping of players and coaches is not helping matters either. Wanderers are staring at a trophyless season for the first time in three seasons.
The standards have slumped to the extent that Wanderers were not even good enough to challenge for Be Forward Tournament honours last weekend. Even if they were not docked six points, Wanderers’ Super League title aspirations were always going to be a lost cause.
No disrespect here, but not even google search engine can help identify some of the Nomads players.
Since 2006, Wanderers’ player-buying policy has been suspect. It borders on cheap labour.
Youngsters such as Khumbo Ng’ambi, Elia Munthali, Bryan Phiri, Mapopa Kaunda and Kondwani Kumwenda are gems, but expecting them to cope with demands of a big team and deliver the goods is unthinkable. Young players learn better when understudying seniors.
When meeting Big Bullets recently, Wanderers paraded five young players. The squad lacked balance.
Wanderers lack veterans to bridge the rebuilding process.
Midfielder Jacob Ngwira is the most senior Wanderers player and second top scorer with three goals, but he is new to assert himself into the psyche of Nomads’ players’ politics. With just four goals, Cuthbert Sinetre is Wanderers’ leading scorer.
Yet, the expectations for trophies remain high at the blue side of Blantyre.
The Wanderers’ executive committee is trying its best to drive the team without a sponsor, but releasing quality such as Timothy Chitedze is contradictory and suicidal. Wanderers need 10 quality players to challenge for honours. Unfortunately, they only have five.