Continuity and Resilience Did It for Us: Vambe
CABS recently clinched the 2018 Financial Services Soccer League (FSSL) championship with a game to spare. Although the league programme came to an end on the 6th of October 2018, CABS had already been declared champions almost three weeks earlier when they beat ZB Bank 2-1. It was a remarkable feat because the team did not taste defeat in an entire season in which they bagged 53 out of a possible 54 points to claim its maiden title. MFSB Sport recently caught up with club chairman Ivan Vambe (IV) who shared the club’s remarkable story of success.
MFSB Sport: What would you attribute the team’s triumph to?
IV: With support from our employer and principal sponsor we changed our approach to pre-season and made sure that we were well prepared both in terms of match fitness and combinations by the time the league kicked off. Maintaining the same team for the past three seasons also improved communication and collaboration within the team because the players now know one another.
MFSB Sport: What’s the current composition of your squad in terms of the split between staff and non-staff?
IV: In terms of non-staff players we made sure that we only involved those that had family links to staff members. Out of the five non-staff members, three are sons of staff players and this made it easier for us to maintain discipline within the team.
MFSB Sport: Who would you say was your most influential player this season?
IV: It’s difficult to single out one player but I would say our most influential players were Malvin Muchenu and Dumisani Vuma who led from the front from the onset. The two are veterans of the league and would lift the team when the going got tough. Our keeper Lenard Chiremba was brilliant all season and made crucial saves in key games.
MFSB Sport: After coming 3rd in 2017, did you set out to clinch the big one this year?
IV: No. We did not set out to win the league but we knew that the margins are very small in the league and for us to win the league we had to beat all the big four.
MFSB Sport: Which aspect of your game improved significantly this year?
IV: Resilience – the team was very resilient this season and would keep fighting even after going one or two goals down. That never used to happen and in past seasons we would get frustrated whenever things were not going our way.
MFSB Sport: What have you got to say about the level of competition in the league?
IV: If the truth be told, the level was not as high as last year mainly because teams are moving towards all-staff membership status and this affected some of the traditional giants of the league and gave those that always made use of staff players a chance to win.
MFSB Sport: What can be improved in terms of how the league is run?
IV: The match officiating was a challenge initially and we had to engage our partners who provide the referees several times to raise the standard and all was well at the end.
MFSB Sport: What are the plans for next season?
IV: Maintain the core of the team, maintain the same focus and keep scouting for football talent within the company to grow our player base.
MFSB Sport: Do you think it will be easy to take your League form to the interbank games and the FSSL Payserv Cup Tournament?
IV: It won’t be easy because all the teams will be aiming to win plus the added factor of teams that will be coming from outside the league. We don’t know how strong they will be so we will just have to be at our best.
MFSB Sport: What challenges did you have to overcome during the season?
IV: Getting a full complement of players for every match is a challenge because of work commitments. Our matches are played on Saturdays and most of the players also have to be at work on match days so it was tough mobilising them every weekend, but thanks to their commitment we made it through the season.
MFSB Sport: Other teams will obviously be targeting the championship next year. Are you thinking of strengthening the squad in the off-season in order to compete at the same level in 2019.
IV: We are going to grow the staff player base and reduce the non-staff component. This will probably weaken the team a bit but at least we will increase participation. The priority is participation and not glory.
MFSB also asked coach Casper Haatumwi what in his view led to the team’s success and this is what he had this to say:
“The team approached the season match by match and respected all opponents. We encouraged a culture of continuous improvement and by the time the second half of the season kicked off, the team had grown in belief and felt invincible. This helped us register our first ever win over FBC and only after that match did we feel that we had enough to go on and win the league.”
- Name of Team : CABS
- Nickname : None
- Coach : Casper Haatumwi
- Team Manager : David Nkatha
- Year of Establishment : 1990
- League Titles To Date : One (2018)
- Other Cups Won To Date : None
- 2017 League Position : 3
- Home Ground : Motor Action Sports Club
- Team Colours (Home & Away) : Blue & Green/White
- Chairperson : Ivan Vambe
- Secretary : Gerald Taruza
- Committee Members : Chrispen Phiri & Malvin Muchenu
Facts & Figures
- CABS were declared league champions on the 15th of September 2018, still with a game to play, when they beat ZB 2-1. Their last match against Stanchart, which they won 2-1, was of academic interest since they had already won the title.
- CABS completed the season unbeaten with 17 wins and a draw.
- They conceded the least number of goals (16) in the 2018 season and scored the third highest number of goals (69) to end the season with a goal difference of +53. This means they were fairly strong in both defence and attack.
A comparison of CABS’s performance in the 2017 & 2018 Seasons
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