Are ‘small’ clubs new kings of Zim football?

NOT even Joey Antipas, the Motor Action coach expected his team to be comfortably perched on top of Zimbabwe’s unbranded PSL after the first five matches.

The Motor Action gaffer admitted that he was amazed by the turn of events after watching his team record a fifth straight win against Shabanie on Saturday. 
While agreeing that it was still too early to conclude that the Mighty Bulls can go all the way, early indications suggest that the modest Harare club could be on their way to write yet another compelling underdog fairytale success story.
After all, statistics in the past two seasons and the relative underachievement by the so-called big teams, have proved that there are no small teams in the PSL anymore. Rank-outsiders Monomotapa and Gunners, clubs in the same category as Motor Action, won the past two editions of the PSL.
So what can stop Motor Action from following suit?
Dynamos and Caps United, lying second and third on the log standings respectively, are expected to fight tooth and nail, but realistically speaking their championship campaign is likely to suffer because of their commitments in African club competitions.
Dynamos are likely to be distracted by their campaign in the mini-league phase of the African Champions League, starting July 1.
Caps United, on the other hand, will be looking to clear one more hurdle when they prepare for their final qualifying round in the Confederation Cup against Sudanese Al Hilal.
While the two Harare giants will be preoccupied with other competitions, other teams including Motor Action and Gunners will have their attention solely focused on the PSL.
Added to that, Caps United will certainly struggle to fill the void to be left by key players Method Mwanjali, Oscar Machapa, Tafadzwa Rusike and reliable scorer Nyasha Mushekwi. They will be joining new clubs in South Africa for the 2010/11 season.
The four players had become an integral part of Caps United for the past two seasons. If coach Lloyd Chitembwe does not make any major signings during the mid-season transfer window period, his championship challenge could suffer a huge morale dent.
The loss of a striker of Mushekwi’s calibre and the options utility player Mwanjali provides, and not to be outdone, the flair provided by Rusike, will handicap any team.
History has proven that Dynamos struggle to win the championship when they are competing in the Champions League.
Not only will they be left with a backlog of fixtures when they start their mini-league campaign, but they will also need depth in their squad to fight battles on two fronts.
However, so far they have coped well, although their fixture against champions Gunners on April 17 which they did not fulfil could come back to haunt them. The matter is being handled by the league’s disciplinary committee.
Gunners, who are a lowly eighth, showed they can not be written off just yet when they walloped Lengthens 0-5 at Rudhaka last weekend.
Their admirable showing against Al Ahly in the Champions League first round, albeit on a losing cause, showed that the reigning champions are still championship material.
While Motor Action’s recent performances have made everyone sit up and take notice, Dynamos, Gunners, Caps United and for all we know even Highlanders may have other ideas.

 

 

Daniel Nhakaniso