SILVER STRIKERS FOOTBALL CLUB PROFILE
By Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda
(Club General Secretary)
Silver Strikers Football Club is one of the most successful and stable clubs in Malawi having won myriads of gold, silver and bronze medals pertaining to the Super League, Kamuzu Cup, Press Cup, Chibuku Cup, etc. It is wholly sponsored by the Reserve Bank of Malawi although the Reserve Bank of Malawi accepts other corporates to co-sponsor the Club. It is the second most successful club in terms of League championship. As far as the TNM Super League is concerned it is the most successful Club having won five honours out of 10 honours. Its traditional colours are sky blue and white. It uses Silver Stadium located on Plot Number 47/4/498, Area 47, Capital City, Lilongwe as its home ground. The distance from the M1 Road to the Stadium is 200 metres. Silver Stadium has a capacity of 20,000. The Stadium was opened between 1987 and 1989. The pitch is 66 metres in width and 110 metres in length. The facilities that the Club access include the RBM Club House which is fitted with a gym. The Club has won League honours 10 times and second to only Bullets FC who have won the League honours 12 times. The Club is the current hold of the Airtel Top 8 Challenge Cup. It is renowned for its thrilling unique brand of fluid passing football. Its followers describe it “umodzi umodzi ngati mpunga wa Kilombero” to mean quick passing football also known as “tiki taka”.
The Club was incorporated under the Trustees Incorporation Act (Cap. 5:03 of the Laws of Malawi) on 28th February, 2005. Its Board of Trustee Chairman at the time of incorporation was Dr. Wilson Banda and its Secretary was Samuel Chilembwe Malitoni. Other initial trustees were Lenia Banda, Ralph Tseka, Levi Jeremiah Sato, Major James Nyirenda and Meg Kajiyanike. On the 30th day of September, 2008 Silver Strikers Football Club was incorporated under the Companies Act (Cap. 46:03 of the Laws of Malawi) as a company limited by guarantee under Company Registration Number 9278 making a major milestone in as far as professional football in Malawi is concerned. Its current corporate governance structure comprises Board of Directors, namely, Heathecote Kelvin Mmangisa, Dr. MacDonald Mafuta Mwale, Paul Chimimba, Gaulphine Nyirenda, Rodrick Chataika, Chikumbutso Kalilombe, Meg Kajayanike, Nasser Tayub, Mario Anione, Gaulphine Josephine Nyirenda. The day to-day affairs of the Club vest on the Executive Committee which is appointed by the Board of Directors. It is the only club in Malawi whose executive committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors making it the most professionally run club in Malawi.
The current Executive Committee has the following members: Ralph Tseka (Chairman), Goodal Chinjoka (Vice Chairman), Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda (General Secretary), Patrick Mbiriyakula (Treasurer), Andrew Mpakule (Vice Treasurer), Lawrence Yobe (Committee member), Assedi Mgomba (Committee member), Innocent Kadam’manja (Liason Officer), Peter Chipanga Banda (Committee member) and Kingsley Malaya (supporters Chairman).
The Technical panel comprises the following: Young Chimodzi Snr (Head Coach), Lovemore Fazili (Deputy Coach), Francis Songo (Team Manager), Sibusiso Padambo (goal keeper trainer), Chikondi Kaminga (kit master) and Babe Kamwambe (kit master).
It has the following players as members of the squad: Brighton Munthali (goal keeper), Blessings Kameza (goal keeper), Steve Micheta (goalkeeper), Mike Robert (defender), Mike Ntonyo (Defender), Hygiene Mwendepeka (Defender), Chisomo Mpachika (Defender), Hadji Wali (Defender), Thoko Sitambuli (Defender), Trevor Kalema (Defender), Herbert Wayekha (Defender), Damiano Kunje (midfielder), Yinusa Sheriff (Defender), Young Chimodzi Jnr (midfielder, Vice-Captain), Levison Maganizo (midfielder), Timothy Chitedze (Midfielder), Paul Pogba Chikalema (midfielder), Thoko Ngwira (midfielder), Kondwani Mwaila (midfielder), Greene Harawa (Striker, Second Vice Captain), Matthews Sibale (Striker), Michael Mensah Tetteh (Striker), Thuso Paipi (midfielder), Duncan Nyoni (midfielder), Mphatso Chimtondo Kayembe (Striker), Victor Vibre Limbani (midfielder cum striker), Mark Fodya (midfielder cum defender), Rodrick Pangani (Striker), Binwell Katinji (Striker), Franz Chizuze (Midfielder), Blessings Tembo (Midfielder, Captain), Taonga Chimodzi (Midfielder) .
The club has a youth team which is currently headed by Rodrick Gonani. The Deputy Youth Team Coach is Patrick Mangani and its team manager is Davie Moya. The club has a fully-fledged office at Silver Stadium. Plans are underway to construct more facilities within the stadium such as shops, gymnastics suite, E-ticketing facilities, an upper ground, etc to make it ultra-modern. The constructions to improve the state of the stadium are expected to commence in January, 2018.
Between the year 2007 and the year 2008, the Reserve Bank of Malawi management under the leadership of Governor Victor Mbewe decided to stop sponsoring Silver Strikers Football Club. It further withdrew exclusive use of the stadium and other facilities from Silver Strikers and handed the same over to the Malawi Government. The decision was later to be reversed after the Club won the TNM Super League.
Silver Strikers Football Club started as a social football team for the Reserve Bank of Malawi members of staff hence the nick “The Bankers”. Then the Reserve Bank of Malawi was headquartered in Blantyre. Its first players included Mr. Charles Chuka, Mr. Momba, Geoffrey Kamanga and Kwanunkha Tonde. The movement of the Capital City from Zomba to Lilongwe in 1975 with funding from the South African Government meant that most of the Government offices located in either Zomba or Blantyre had to move to Lilongwe. The Reserve Bank of Malawi was one of such institution whose headquarters were to move to the new Capital City and with it Silver Strikers Football Club which was later to benchmark a new era of football in Lilongwe. The Capital City then had three dominant teams, namely, CIVO United Football Club coached by Zorro Msiska and CCDC Football Club was coached by Matthias Mwenda later Henry Moyo and MITCO Football Club whose best player was Dickson Mbetewa. CCDC Football Club was sponsored by the Capital City Development Corporation which was established under an Act of Parliament in 1968 called the Capital City Development Corporation Act (Cap. 39:02 of the Laws of Malawi. It concentrated on fabricating infrastructure for the new Capital City, low cost shelter, government offices and housing. It ventured into football sponsorship to get closer to the people it served.
When the Reserve Bank of Malawi Headquarters moved to Lilongwe, the team started participating in the lower division of Lilongwe District and Football League and roped in big name players such as Young Chimodzi Snr, Stain Chirwa, and Davie Maleta amongst several others. The then Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, John Zenus Ungapake Tembo played a very influential role in transforming the club. He singlehandedly negotiated with Mr. Young Chimodzi to join Silver Strikers Football Club from CCDC who were then the Lilongwe football kings. Mr. Young Chimodzi Snr who joined CCDC Football Club from Bwaila Secondary School and played for CCDC for two seasons attracted the attention of several high profile clubs in Malawi. ADMARC Tigers were the notable bidders for Mr. Chimodzi’s signature. In 1983, when Mr. Chimodzi was returning from national team duties in Kenya where the National Team played in the East and Central Africa Challenge Cup, ADMARC Tigers officials waited for him at the Airport with their lorry ready to ferry Chimodzi’s household properties to the Commercial Capital. He was offered a job and a house. Not to be outdone Governor John Tembo offered Mr. Chimodzi a better job at the Reserve Bank of Malawi and a descent house in Area 18B. Mr. Chimodzi could not resist this savory and like a woman asked for love, he accepted to join the Bankers. This could not be the last signing. Mr. Chimodzi admired the footballing skills of Dickson Mbetewa who was then playing for MITCO Football Club and was given a lucrative job there. Mr. Chimodzi pleaded with the Club officials to sign Mbetewa if the Club’s dreams of attaining glory were to materialize. The officials accepted and Mr. Mbetewa was later to form a deadly combination with Young Chimodzi Snr at Silver Strikers and were the fulcrum of Silver Strikers Football Club.
After dominating the lower Division of the Lilongwe District and Football League the team was promoted to the first Division of the Lilongwe District and Football League. The Club with Dr. Wilson Banda’s and John Zenus Ungapake Tembo’s influence successfully coaxed other exciting players such as Alfred Ngwata, Steven Ng’oma, Macdudely Chanase, Louis Mushani, Harry Kumwenda, Ian Banda (who played for three years), Dickson Mbetewa. The Club sent Mr. Young Chimodzi to Brazil to undergo coaching training. This was the harbinger of great unparalleled achievements for the Club. When Mr. Young Chimodzi returned from Brazil, he doubled as a coach and as a player. Mr. Chimodzi fused Brazil’s tiki taka football playing style which rivaled Zorro’s Msiska’s CIVO that make spectators hold their hands akimbo and their mouths agape with awe. That now meant that the rivalry that was prevailing between CIVO and the defunct CCDC Football Club was assigned to Silver Strikers Football Club and that CIVO was no longer the only team associated with fluid passing and entertaining football. It also marked the shifting of the football power base from Blantyre to Lilongwe. In 1985, the team won the Lilongwe District and Football League championship and as per tradition then had to participate in the national Championship which it won convincingly. The team also won virtually all trophies and cups that were on the table that year including the Kamuzu Cup and Press Cup. This was later to be rewarded by being nominated to participate in the East and Central African Challenge Cup in Dar es salaam, Tanzania where the Club lost to Kampala City Council Football Club of Uganda in the Semi Finals.
Later Donnex Gondwe, Manto Alie, Ganizani Masiye, Cuthbert Mtawali, Paul Mbisa and Francis Songo joined the Club. In 1986 the Super League of Malawi sponsored by the Gillette Nacet was established comprising eight teams, namely, MITCO FC, SUCOMA FC, Bata Bullets FC, Silver Strikers FC, CIVO United FC, Mighty Yamaha/ Limbe Leaf Wanderers FC, ADMARC Tigers FC, Hardware Stars (Mchiru Castles) FC and Berec Power FC (MDC United. The League was known as Gillet Nacet Super League. In 1987, Silver Strikers Football Club won the Gillet Nacet Super League a feat that was to repeat itself in 1993, 1994 and 19995/96 when the League was known as the Lifebuoy Super League. According to Young Chimodzi Alfred Ngwata is the most deadly striker of all time for Silver Strikers Football Club. Mr. Ken Chisambo who was closely working with the team thinks Ian Banda would have been the best striker of all time for Silver Strikers Football Club were it not that he had trekked to the United States of America for further studies. Mr. Ngwata and Banda were prolific goal poachers and perfect goal scoring machines for Silver Strikers Football Club. Ian Banda amazed spectators when he scored five goals for the Malawi National team in a single game when Malawi against Swaziland.
Silver Strikers Football Club showed its prowess again when it demolished Mali National Team by 4 goals to 1. The Mali National team was one of the best national teams in Africa. It had previously played against the Malawi national team in an African Cup of Nations qualifier and beaten Malawi by 3 goals to 1. The team was supposed to play against another Southern African team, Zambia, in few weeks’ time. To cut cost it camped in Malawi and requested the football authorities to identify the best football club in Malawi for a friendly match. The best team to play the Malian national team was no other than Silver Strikers Football Club. After the match, the Malian National Team coach expressed surprise on why any sensible coach would leave out Davie Maleta from the National team line up. The sentiments by the Malian National Coach led to the immediate drafting of Davie Maleta into the national team. Davie Maleta died a tragic death from injuries he sustained when he was stoned by Bullets Supporters after a match at the Kamuzu Stadium in which Bullets lost.
Mr. Young Chimodzi, a defence pillar, for Silver Strikers and the National Team scored several vital goals for Silver Strikers Football Club. He scored over 30 goals for Silver Strikers Football Club and 7 goals for the National Team during his hey days.
In the early 1990s the team had great players such as Jones Speed-link Nkhwazi, John Maduka, Zex Rajab. When Jones Speedlink Nkhwazi joined MDC United Silver Strikers signed Lovemore Fazili in retaliation. The great Lawrence Waya was to join Silver Strikers Football Club when he returned from playing professional football in the United Arabs Emirates.
The first two years were for team building even though the Club could finish as runners up in cup competitions and the national championship. The club started winning cups in 1985. MITCO had little impact on the football dominance in the central Region. The Club produced great goalkeepers too such as Donnex Gondwe, Ganizani Masiye and Chitty Malema who were all called for the national team engagements simultaneously and substituted each other in the National team. Another influential goalkeeper was Weford Silulu.
The Club did not have its own football facilities and as such its home games were being played at CIVO Stadium, Lilongwe Community Ground or Kamuzu Institute for Youths. The successes of the Club left Governor John Tembo with no choice than approve the construction of the stadium for Silver Strikers which was to be known as Silver Stadium. The construction of the stadium heavily boosted the morale of the players and heralded far greater achievements. It also marked the movement of football powerhouse from Blantyre to Lilongwe with teams from Blantyre beaten at will at Silver Stadium. The stadium is located on Plot Number 47/4/498, Area 47, Sector 4, Lilongwe. It has a capacity of 20,000 with excellent and ambient VIP seats and an unobstructed view of the pitch. Its pitch size is 66 metres in width and 110 metres in length. The Stadium has four major emergency exists.
Mr. Chimodzi describes captaining the Malawi National team during the East and Central Africa Challenge Cup in 1988 where he also scored as the highest moment of his national team playing career. To him winning trophies as a player brought more joy than winning trophies as a coach. He also cherishes playing alongside Mr. Peterkins Kaira in the National Team who was nicknamed Beirut Massacre after the Beirut Massacre of 1982 for his goal scoring exploits, clinical finishing, physique and speed. Jack Chamangwana of Mighty Limbe Leaf Wanderers was his best source of inspiration since he also used to score goals as a player. He played alongside football legends Kinnah Phiri and Jack Chamangwana but missed playing alongside Barnet Gondwe although he ever watched him playing football for both club and country.
Silver Strikers team of 1990 to 1995
Chitty Malema, Johnston Kumwenda, Davie Maleta, Charles Mulongo, Kondwani Mdumuka, Austin Nyondo, John Paipi, Ganizani Masiye, Harry Kumwenda, Richard Nyondo, Stain Chirwa, Paul Mbisa, John Maduka, Zex Rajab, Francis Songo, Young Chimodzi
BP Top 8 Champions team
Silver Strikers Football Club won the BP Top 8 Cup in the year 2000. The team had the following exciting players: Ulanda Kalua, Patrick Mangani, Peter Mgangira, James Kaniche, Moffat Monya Sinsamala, Manson Shaba Phiri, Itai Nundwe, Laiton Mangani, Hellings Mwakasungula, Dytone Chizuze, Zwange Gondwe, Russel Mafulirwa
Silver Strikers team of 1999 to 2002
Jimmy Zakazaka, Manson Shaba Phiri, Russel Mwafulirwa, Lyton Mangani, Itai Nundwe, Hellings Mwakasungula, Ulanda Kalua, Moffat Monya Sinsamala, Peter Mgangira, Chinji Majawa, Patrick Mangani. This was one of the best Silver Strikers teams.
The team of 1995 to 1998
Francis Songo, Manson Shaba Phiri, Steve Bakali, Lovemore Fazili, Gift Zakazaka, Noah Lambulira, John Paipi, Shilton Chizuze, Eliah Maduka, Clement Mandala, Patrick Mangani, Jonathan Lungu, Lawrence Waya, Joseph Malikebu, Moffat Monya Sinsamala, Ganizani Masiye
The following coaches have coached Silver Strikers Football Club: Young Chimodzi Snr, Felix Nyirongo, Matthias Mwenda, Manson Shaba Phiri, Thom Mkorongo, Hellings Mwakasungula, Stain Chirwa, Itai Nundwe, Peter Mgangira, Franco Ndawa, etc.
Number of Super League of Malawi titles from 1986 to 2016: 29
The Champions since 1986:
Silver Strikers 8
ESCOM United 2
Admarc Tigers 1
CIVO United 1
MDC United 1
Kamuzu Barracks 1
(Standard Bank Trophy)
2007 . 2014
Airtel Top 8
1985 . 1987 . 1988
1987 . 1993 . 1994 . 1995/96 . 2008 . 2009/10 . 2010/11 . 2011/12 . 2012/13 . 2013/14