With few days remaining to the official celebrations of TNM’s 10-year involvement in the country’s top flight football, a select side voted by fans – TNM XI – to face reigning champions Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday at the Civo stadium has received mixed feelings.
The dream team released on Wednesday by TNM has divided opinion from some soccer pundits who believe the squad do not portray the true reflection of the best players in the just ended season.
John Chikalipo, an ardent follower of the country’s elite football league told Nyasa Times that the select side is only based on fans favorites and not what was experienced on the field.
” How do you select a player who only featured in less than ten games at his club? I have seen players like John Lanjesi, Mike Mkwate, Jaffali Chande, Pilirani Zonda, Fischer Kondowe, Richard Chipuwa and Muhammad Sulumba who were not regulars at their clubs. Some of them were on boycott like Dalitso Sailesi who was far behind people’s expectations,” wondered Chikalipo.
Another analyst, Kabesi Gona believes the squad is a select side of Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Foward Wanderes.
He said if SULOM and TNM were credible enough, they should not have used the criteria of fans voting to come up with strong select TNM Super League side.
“Blue Eagles had players like Maxwell Salambula and Godfrey Nachipo who were outstanding compared to some of the selected players. Players like Lwindiko Mshani, Stain Malata, Kondwani Kumwenda, Rafick Namwera, Yamikani Chester, Alfred Manyozo, Mphatso Dzongololo, Innocent Bokosi are among those who were outstanding last season,” said Gona.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, one of the selected players said the organisers were poor in coming up with the criteria of selecting players.
He also questioned the availability of some players who are out on trials which will make things more complicated.
“Why do you select players who are out of the country? By the way, this is off season and most of us are enjoying our holidays and cannot just train once and play a competitive game. It’s very risky to injuries,” said one of the selected players.
The following is the full list of players and officials selected to face Kamuzu
Yasin Osman (Current BE Forward Wanderersand former Flames tactician)
Elia Kananji (Nyasa Big Bullets)
Peter Mponda (Premier Bet Wizards Technical Director)
Stanley Sanudi, Lucky Malata, Miraclce Gabeya, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi and Pilirani Zonda,
Joseph Kamwendo, Mike Mkwate, Thuso Paipi, Fisher Kondowe, Dalitso Sailesi and Victor Limbani,
Richard Mbulu, Peter Wadabwa, Jafali Chande and Chiukepo Msowoya.
Defenders; Francis Mlimbika
Midfielders; Isaac Kaliati
Strikers; Muhammad Sulumba, Gastin Simkonda and Mussa Manyenje