By GWEN CHIPASULA –
HAVING been promoted and subsequently demoted 12 times from the top flight of the Zambian football league, Nkwazi will be out this season to make that unwanted demotion history a story of the past.
Formerly known as Zambia Police Football Club, dining with the best in the 2015 season will be Nkwazi’s prime aim for the year.
Nkwazi has set its target of avoiding relegation and later establish themselves as a football powerhouse in the country.
Having been demoted at the end of the 2013 MTN-FAZ Super Division season to FAZ Division One South, Nkwazi bounced straight back to the top flight football finishing second behind winners Lusaka Dynamos.
Stationed at Edwin Imboela Stadium and sponsored by the Zambia Police Service, Nkwazi believe they have a perfect mix of players ranging from Police officers and civilians to give them the right attitude to see them through the year.
With a coach Elijah Chikwanda settled at the club after arriving from Botswana Defence Force (BDF), the club seems to have got the vigour to stay in the Super Division.
Nkwazi secretary Adrian Kashala says the goal of the club at this moment was simple and was just to make sure they avoid the embarrassing drop to Division One, an occurrence they seem to have gotten accustomed to.
“We got a new coach from Botswana Defence Force (BDF), he is qualified and able and everyone at the club is confident that he will be capable of performing well and make sure the team keeps its place in the super league.
“That is how simple our goal is and we shall work hard to make sure we maintain this status,” he said.
He said the club is confident that Chikwanda will take the team to greater heights and that is why they signed him.
And the man of few words Chikwanda said he is not new to Zambian football and remains optimistic that he will work well at Nkwazi and help the team maintain a spot in the Super League.
In keeping with the already established mix, Nkwazi have brought in an array of experienced and young players to boost their survival plans and they include literary unknown players from Chipata as well as Africa Cup of Nations veterans.
While Nkwazi struggle to impose themselves in the Zambian football league, they have got honours in the Southern African Police Games (SARPCCO) which are institutional arranged between police clubs around the Southern Africa region.
Nkwazi have been champions in this Southern African Games (SARPCCO) since the tournament started in 2007 and just lost the championship in 2013.
This tournament is played every after two years and Nkwazi are, however, hoping to transfer their success in the SARPCCO into the local league.
It will thus be interesting to see if the ‘Policemen’ will be able to arrest this situation of avoiding relegation to the lower ranks of Zambian football.
Ground: Edwin Imboela Stadium
Head Coach Elijah Chikwanda
Assistant coache Albert Mphande Makinka Dennis
Player arrivals: Michael Bwalya and Kennedy Nketani (Zanaco), Brian Mulenga (Forest Rangers), Emmanuel Kasonde (Zesco United), Joseph Nkoma (Red Arrows), Michael Mwenya (Lime Hotspurs), Justine Shonga (Chipata Young Stars), Philip Phiri (K-Stars) and Makasa Kalaba (Paramilitary).
Players-Out:Derrick Mwansa (Power Dynamos) Chishimba Changala (Zesco) and Noel Phiri (Nkana)
League/Cup honours: Nil