Azam Tigers, Kamuzu Barracks (KB) and Dwangwa United have admitted that they failed to meet their targets last season and plan to make major changes to either their squads or technical panels.
Tigers chairperson Sydney Chikoti said they are disappointed not to have finished in the top eight, a target they hoped would help them qualify for the Airtel Top 8.
“We finished in the top eight last season and our target was to finish within that bracket. But that did not happen and we are disappointed with our performance,” he said.
Tigers finished 11th in the 16-member league and Chikoti attributed it to lack of motivation for players and abrupt changes in the technical panel as Gerald Phiri dumped the team before the start of the season following his appointment as Flames assistant coach.
His successor Patrick Kulemeka also quit his post a few matches into the second round of the TNM Super League season.
“We didn’t have resources to motivate the players by paying them on time and offering them bonuses,” he said.
“Then we had an unstable technical panel after the coaches left, leaving little or no time for proper hand-overs.”
In preparation for next season, the chairperson said they would make technical panel and squad changes.
“We want to bring in a few players and again make technical panel changes so that we are stronger next season than we were,” said Chikoti.
Deposed champions KB coach Billy Phambala said their mission in the just-ended season was to defend the title.
But while admitting that competition was stiff, the mentor said he noted that he has an ageing squad that needs to be energised by new faces.
“We will scout for five or six new players. The team we have has a couple of old legs that can’t play competitively for a full season. I hope we will be back fighting for the title next season,” said Phambala.
KB, who finished eighth, ended the season with Fisd Challenge Cup, which the coach described as a worthwhile consolation.
Dwangwa United finished a place above the relegated teams.
Their team manager Davie Mwandira said though they survived the chop, his side was inconsistent.
“We could have loved to finish in the top eight and play in the Airtel Top 8 but that did not happen. We will, most definitely, reshuffle the team to make it competitive. Our mission should not just be surviving relegation but fighting for trophies,” he said.