Barely two days after recruiting a new coaching panel, Silver Strikers have fired 17 players in a mass clear-out ahead of the forthcoming 2020 season.
The Central Bankers’ board of trustees chairperson Victor Madhlopa yesterday confirmed releasing 17 players from the squad, saying the move was based on their performance last season.
“The board of trustees has approved the termination of contracts based on performance and the need to trim the squad. To that effect, all the affected players have been communicated to.
“We had 40 players on the wage bill. Now we are remaining with 23,” he said.
Madhlopa said the list includes former Flames forward Green Harawa, who is also the club’s former captain.
Midfielders Timothy Chitedze, Ernest Tambe, Kondwani Mwaila, Lazarus Nyemera, Kelvin Shibwabwa, Newman Mwansamale, Elisha Nyirongo and Tanzanian Sherrif Shamama have also been released.
Others are goalkeeper Blessings Kameza, defenders Mike Ntonyo, Damiano Kunje, Frank Sanudi, strikers Mphatso Philiemon, Zikani Kasambara and Ronald Pangani.
On why they could not wait for the new coaching panel to assess the squad, the board chairperson said the players were surplus to requirements as they hardly featured last season.
“A good number of them were on loan already. Some were off-loaded even at the teams that we loaned them to while others have not shown any improvement in terms of form and yet others stopped playing entirely, but are still on our wage bill. Age has also played a part on some of them,” Madhlopa said.
In an interview yesterday, Nyemera, who joined the team in 2012 from Mzuzu Warriors (formerly Mzuzu University FC), confirmed being informed about the development.
He said: “I have been informed, alongside other players that my contract has been terminated. I am surprised with the decision coming before the new coaches assess us.
“I feel they [club management] have not been fair because last year, whenever I was given a chance to play, my performance was outstanding.”
On his part, Philiemon, who was signed from Blue Eagles in 2018, said it was part of life.
“As a player, it’s not good to be told that your contract is terminated when preparations for a season are about to start. However, I am what I am and I can do what I can,” he said.
The club’s new Zambian coach Daniel Kabwe, his assistants McDonald Mtetemera and McDonald Yobe, who were hired this week, are yet to get down to work.
Meanwhile, the Central Bankers have given Kabwe and his backroom staff the freedom to cast their net wider and recruit foreign players, if need be.
Silver want the new coaching panel to win all silverware, in particular the TNM Super League in the forthcoming season as part of its targets. n