By HONE SIAME
WITH only few days remaining before the start of the 2014 Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Premier League, Power Dynamos are under pressure to redeem themselves from last season’s poor performance.
Power had a bad season last year finishing eighth with 42 points, 17 behind champions Nkana.
They won 11 games, drew nine and lost 10.
Power, who were also Zambia’s representatives in the 2013 Confederations Cup, crashed out of the competition losing 2-1 on aggregate to Recreativo da Caala of Angola after two legs.
They beat Caala 1-0 in the first leg at Kitwe’s Arthur Davies Stadium before losing 2-0 in a return leg in Huambo.
The elimination in the preliminary round of the second tier competition and a poor run in the Super Division cost coach Bestone Chambeshi his job.
Chambeshi was given the boot alongside his assistants Hector Chilombo, John Munkonje and Martin Mwamba.
The club immediately hired former international midfielder Tenant Chilumba from Zimbabwean side Platinum Football Club but the 42-year-old could not guide Power to glory.
The Copperbelt energy Corporation (CEC) has tasked Chilumba to win title this year.
To show seriousness, CEC director of projects Benny Simukoko has been appointed chairman replacing Owen Silavwe.
The new executive committee also has Andrew Kamanga and Ponga Liwewe.
Kamanga resigned as Kabwe Warriors chairman last December.
Power started 2014 with a bang winning the four-club international tournament in Ndola.
The tournament had Zesco United, South African side Mamelodi Sundowns and Don Bosco of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Power beat Sundowns 3-2, edged Zesco 2-0 and drew 1-1 with Don Bosco.
Speaking during the club’s end of year party, Simukoko urged the Chilumba-led team to ensure they win this year’s league title as a way of paying back to CEC.
Midfielder Patrick Kasunga, strikers Alex Ng’onga and Felix Nyaende have been recalled from Nchanga Rangers where they were loaned.
Power boast of exciting players – Joshua Titima, Kennedy Mudenda, Julius Situmbeko, Kamuzati Kabwe, Billy Imonda, Emmanuel Chimpinde, Lubambo Musonda, Lawrence Chungu and Thomas Nyirenda, among others.
The Kitwe outfit has also recruited midfielder Richard Kasonde from Kabwe Warriors, defender Nyambe Mulenga and striker Patrick Kabamba both from Zesco United.
Power secretary Ricky Mamfunda named the other recruited players as goalkeeper Reagan Mbewe, defender Billy Mutale from Kalulushi Modern Stars, striker Kobe Chipeta from Chifubu Bullets and defender Alex Mwamba from Damiano Soccer Academy.
Power will be without striker Graven Chitalu, who has joined Mozambican side Ferroviario Maputo, midfielder Clatus Chota has joined Zesco United while Francis Kombe, Maybin Chishimba and Simon Bwalya have trekked to CAF Champions League envoys Nkana.
Power, who like Green Buffaloes have won the title six times, are among the major contenders for the 2014 Super Division title.
Formerly known as CPC Club, Power is one of the most successful clubs in Zambia.
The year 1991 and the subsequent years saw Power become a force to reckon with in Zambian football and were nicknamed ‘Power ‘90’ because of their achievements both in the league and on the international scene.
Power won almost all silverware on the local scene and won the Africa Cup Winners Cup, which has been renamed Confederation Cup, in 1991.
The Confederations Cup is Africa’s second most prestigious club after the CAF Champions League. The former is equivalent to the Europa League.
To lay their hands on the continental title, Power defeated Nigeria’s BCC Lions 5-4 on aggregate in a two-legged final.
Power’s triumph at continental level came after countless attempts by the likes of ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers, Nkana, ‘Magnificent’ Kabwe Warriors, Green Buffaloes and Nchanga Rangers.
Power’s triumph came after the team had won the Independence Cup, BP Top Eight Challenge and the Champion of Champions in 1990.
They went on to win the Charity Shield in 1995 and 2004, the defunct Mosi Cup in 1997, 2001 and 2003, the BP Top Eight in 2001 and the Coca-Cola Cup in 2003.
Power also won the Rothmans International Cup in 1983 and reclaimed the Independence Cup in 1990.
The success story of the Kitwe-based side started way back in 1971 when as a youth soccer team, it was spotted playing some football in a nondescript league at the Mapili Grounds in Ndeke by a prominent businessman Paul Kaira.
Kaira got interested in the team that subsequently got affiliated to the Kitwe District Amateur Football Association (KDAFA) where the team performed wonders.
In 1974, the team won sponsorship from Copperbelt Power Company (CPC) after a successful campaign in the amateur ranks and was in 1975 promoted to the Copperbelt Amateur Football Association (CAFA) league, which comprised two divisions.
FAZ then decided to restructure the league in 1976 to introduce a Division Three League and CPC was renamed Power Dynamos in the following year and managed to win promotion to Division Three where they spent three seasons.
CPC general manager Arthur Davies was instrumental in pioneering the team to higher heights.
In the Division Two League, Power became stronger and attracted good players like Richard Stephenson, Geoff Mason and Huson Kamfwa, Alex Chola and Michael Musonda.
The team emerged runners-up in the league in 1978 and was consequently promoted to the elite league.
Power registered their presence in the elite league with a splendid performance in 1982 when they finished runners-up to arch-rivals
Nkana finally won the league in 1984.They also won it in 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2011.
Nickname: Power 90
Chairman: Benny Simukoko
Coach: Tenant Chilumba Assistant coach: Anderson Phiri
Team colours: White, yellow and red
Home ground: Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe League/Cup honours: League 1984, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2011, Mosi Cup winners (1979, 1980, 1982, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2003), Coca-Cola Cup (2001), Charity Shield (2004, 2009), BP top eight (1990, 2001), Barclays Cup (2009, 2011).
International honours: CAF Cup Africa Winners’ Cup champions (1991).
By HONE SIAME