The 2012/13 TNM Super League season which screeches to a halt Sunday afternoon has been competitive and entertaining, declared the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda on Thursday.
Being his show, Banda might not be objective, but he is not far from the truth. He only needed to add that the league was romantic, fierce, electric, cruel, dirty and sometimes, outright violent.
Until last week, the championship race was the subject of guess work. But Silver Strikers sealed it in edging Kamuzu Barracks 1-0 on Sunday to splint to 58 points, three clear of Big Bullets who conclude their season against Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium.
Therefore, whatever result they get against Mighty Wanderers at Civo Stadium on Sunday, the Bankers will, barring a miracle, get the title for a third season on trot.
Last season, they won it on 48 points, a point ahead of Super Escom. But such is the cruelty of football, Escom’s dismantling of the playing squad and coaches saw them swap their championship chase for relegation.
Since birth in the early 1990s, Escom will next season play in the Premier Division. Few relegated clubs cope with life in the second tier league. Blackpool is dead. Sammy’s United is gone. Michiru Castles, too, disappeared.
“The team will survive,” insisted Escom chairperson Fanuel Nkhono.
Time will tell, but Escom will next season be in the Premier Division together with Bvumbwe Research and Kabwafu United. Kabwafu have emulated the bad example of Northern Region promoted teams in returning to where they came from, barely after a season.
For coach Bob Mpinganjira, it is not all doom and gloom for his Bvumbwe, the proud home to this season’s Golden Boot Award winner designate Vincent Chinthenga. His 25 goals earned him a similar award in the Premier Division last season.
As probably the only domestic striker to net eight goals in a single game in his playing days, Mpinganjira has weaved his magic to turn former Wanderers outcast of a winger Chinthenga into a ruthless finisher.
Surely, fans will be remember this season for the new breed of stars such as Gabadinho Mhango, Sparrow Msowoya, Brown Mizeye, Harvey Nkacha, Ndaona Daisi, Diof Simaone, Micium Mhone, Dennis Kambewa, Aico Maluwa, Osward Nkagula, Dennis Mughogho, Boniface Kaulesi, Lucky Malata and Victor Mpinganjira.
On a darker side, the season will be remembered for the escalating violence and hooliganism.