Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu has challenged Chitipa United to emulate Mzuni FC in withstanding the heat in the TNM Super League and surviving relegation.
Speaking during the prize presentation ceremony for the Simama Northern Region Football Association League in Mzuzu on Friday, Nyamilandu said Mzuni defied the odds to finish the league in mid-table to continue representing the Northern Region in the elite league alongside Moyale.
He said nobody gave Mzuni a chance to survive the chop in the 2015 season.
Nyamilandu said Mzuni should be commended for defying the odds to grab the last available spot in the then Super League season with a razor-thin margin, thanks to their superior goal-difference to Dedza Young Soccer.
Nyamilandu therefore said that what Mzuni have achieved by finishing on position 9 in the 2016 campaign, shows that football in the region is improving and called on Chitipa to emulate Mzuni’s example.
“Nobody can dispute that football in the north is developing. Mzuni is a good testimony to that. Who would have predicted that this team will escape relegation in that manner in their debut season? But they did and now they are one of the teams that are difficult to beat,” Nyamilandu said.
He said big teams going to play in Mzuzu have not managed to return home unscathed because of the competitiveness of Super League teams in the Northern Region.
“Very few teams have managed to get maximum points when playing Moyale and Mzuni. On their best day, they have been humiliating some giants in the country. So things have changed. In the past, teams from Simama could be promoted and get relegated in the same season, so look up to them (Chitipa FC),” Nyamilandu said.
Chitipa United Coach, Robert Mzinza, said the team has started conducting trials to beef up the squad with more players ahead of the 2017 season.
“This being our debut season, we will be taking advice from those who know what it means to play in the Super League. We have our neighbours Karonga United who will be very handy when it comes to our preparations for the top flight league because they were there,” Mzinza said.
For emerging champions, Chitipa United walked away with the trophy and a K1.2 million grand prize, while runners-up Kaporo Stars received K600, 000.
Winners in 2015 Chilumba Barracks got K350, 000, while fourth-placed Zolozolo United pocketed K150, 000.
Kabwafu FC was voted the most disciplined team and got K40, 000.
Abel Mwakilama of champions Chitipa, who net ted 38 goals in the competition, received his golden boot prize of K40, 000.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues