By Bernard Mhone:
First Capital Bank (FCB) under-20 league defending champions Bico Optical have started the defence of their national title on a high note after winning Mzuzu’s under-20 league with two matches to go.
Bico, formerly Sanwecka, are the reserve side for TNM Super League side Ekwendeni Hammers.
The team has amassed 67 points from 28 matches to open an eight-point gap with second-placed MK Academy who have 59 points from the same number of matches.
Bico have won the league title for three consecutive years at district level and once at national level.
The team’s founder Benjamin Thole said winning the district championship was a morale booster to their campaign.
“We want to become the first team in the country to win the under-20 league title for two consecutive years. Our target is to retain the championship at national level. Yes, we have won the league at district level but we still have big battles ahead.
“We need to fight at regional level so that we finish top at national level. We expect to conquer because of the good working relationship that exists between players and the technical panel. We have ample time for preparations,” Thole said.
Mzuzu District Youth Football Committee Chairperson Panji Kamanga congratulated Bico for the good performance despite the league’s late kickoff due to Covid.
“We have administered the league well. So far, we have had no hitches. We, as a committee, we are satisfied with the stiffness of competition among teams. We believe we are on the right track as far as producing talent from grassroots is concerned. We urge our ambassadors to prepare thoroughly so that they successfully defend the title,” Kamanga said.
The league is expected to wind up on November 28 with regional finals scheduled for December 3 to 5 at Karonga Stadium.
FCB pumped K35 million into this year’s competition and, as district champions, Bico will pocket K350,000 while the runners-up will return home with K200,000.