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Expert View: Zambia National team, where are we going?

Since winning the 2012 AFCON Zambia has been dwindling in terms of performance and all the coaches we have had Since then have preached to us the same sermon of building a team. Yes their is need to build a team and it must be a continuous process but what has been achieved so far? Nothing tangible has been realised from this continuous building process.

Building is a long process, it can take years but it needs certain ingredients. Coach Wedson Nyirenda’s COSAFA outing for me was not the worst but it was not the best either.I would have loved to see a scenario where he picks a squad full of youngsters who need experience and can be used in future like Shonga and Brian Mwila yes not Donashano Malama, Lubinda Mundia and Chingu Lawrence. What are you exposing Donashano Malama to that he has not been exposed to in the last 5-10 years?.

What is Nyirenda building with players that have less than three years left of their active career?. Zambia’s widest pool of players is at U23 and U20 level but I don’t know if it’s by design or default that the coach gives call ups mostly to players above these age groups.

The dream team may not be a solution but have players ready for the challenge who only need a little guidance. Fashion Sakala, Patson Daka, Emmanuel Banda and Enock Mwepu are ready to take up the mantle but we still want them to gain experience? From where? Let’s start using them in friendly games and those meaningless qualifiers that may come up due to early qualification or disqualification.

Honor Janza qualified Zambia to the 2015 AFCON and gave the likes of Charles Zulu, Patrick Ngoma and Sate Sate a lot of game tome

George Lwandamina and Honor Janza were building with small boys which did not go well with some sections of fans but what we must understand is that Zambia is a big footballing nation and we can’t be reduced to winning COSAFA Castle Cup as the epitome of our success. At the rate we are moving we will be on the same spot even five years from now.

Zambia needs to admit that it has a problem first and foremost before the problem can be sorted. We are not fooling anyone but ourselves cause we can all see that we don’t have a team, remember a team is more than just having players (who we have in abundance) but something of an oiled machine ready to do it’s work.

The way forward now is to start building on a serious note with U23 and U20 players at the centre of that building process with only performing players outside these age groups to help young boys through because you can’t build with young boys alone.

Chicken Lwandamina’s highlight was the partnership of Winston Kalengo and Collins Mbesuma.
Under Lwandamina Zambia failed to qualify to the 2017 AFCON

The coach needs to get tougher on player selection and make sure he has more than two players on each position to create competition. No one should be guaranteed a place in the team without putting in the hard work.

The young players also need to help the coach. The young players need to fight for their places and not expect to receive favours for being young.

The Association can also come in and help with deliberate policies e.g every super league team to feature at least 4 U23 players and one U20 including on the substitute’s list. This will keep the U23 and U20 players active and help in growing our national team football.

Zambia has alot of talented players and if the talent is properly managed the nation will rise again and win their second AFCON and make the long awaited World cup debut but things need to change.

11 Comments to Expert View: Zambia National team, where are we going?

  1. Papa says:

    The problem we have right now is the coach. He has lost more home matches than any other coach in living memory. He has probably lost the most matches compared to any other Zambian coaching, indigenous or foreign. Being outplayed by Zimbabwe was too much to bear.

  2. Seen from Afar says:

    Very good point, we need young players given the call ups and being trialed. No one over 27 unless they are really special.

    Filling the senior team with the U20 is not a solution. One or 2 maybe but not all.

    In 2012 Zambia had the youngest team at Afcon, what happened to all these young players? We have top players in their prime but we are failing to motivate and to use them. That is where the problem lies.

    We have struggled to add players to the core/main personel of the national team. What happened all those players we trialed, Bruce Musankya, even Evans Sakala, Lubambo Musonda all these players seem like they no longer add anything. The Zed national team is going in circles.

    How can Sinkala just be dropped without explanation?

    There are some strange things happening. Wedson Nyrienda did not even call a pre-camp and then drop players For the final squad. That is not using all your potential.

  3. Pungwa says:

    We are ignoring Evans Kangwa when he was doing well at his club in Turkey. I thought post the team would be built around him as the incoming top man. You need patience with these boys even when they dont perform well at first chance but when opportunities like cosafa arise, you use them and continue with the building process. Evans and Mbola were around for the of-season break, why ignore them. Cletus Chama and Fwayo were equally left out without any explanation, the question indeed begs – where are we going.

  4. In zambia we don’t have good local coaches who can call players on merit and we dont have good leaders either so what good thing can you expect from kamanga type of leadership nothing.kamanga + weddson nyirenda equals to poor selection of players,zambia failure to qualify to both Afcon and worldcup. That the answer I can get

  5. Anonymous says:

    When Ghana won the U20 World Cup, they took about 5 of those kids to the Senior national team(which was the backbone of that Ghana team in Angola at the Afcon. Why Zambia can not do that is beyond me. Banda, daka, Sakala, Mwepu should all be part of the senior team. If we had a foreign coach this would have happen already. But you know how our own treat our own…… you can’t still be using Mbesuma, Kalengo when you have Sakala and Daka. Smh

  6. GSK11 says:

    Truth be told the COSAFA selection was strange… if the coach was gluing to experiment then he may have found some capable elements in B Mwila and J Shonga. The rest didn’t show anything remarkable. This was a B side reserves at best, in my humble opinion and they did well to reach the final. Still the defeat to Mozambique showed a worrying stagnation in the progress of the team. I don’t think the coach hasn’t done enough to be dropped just yet but time will tell.

  7. Billy says:

    We may say what what until you are blue in your face. The problem in Zambia at the moment is lack of good quality coaches. Player selection by these coaches is a nightmare in Zambia.

  8. Who should we blame now is it the players poor performance or the poor selection by the coach? Or the government for saying it has no money for an expatriate coach? ???????????

    I don’t know who?

  9. GRAND says:

    To FAZ why give this coach a 3 yrs contract, the best was to give him a 1 yr probation contract .
    Faz should take the blame for sure.
    Janza and George were not given contracts but they performed relatively better

  10. Mulenga Pulu says:

    With local coaches chipolopolo is doomed

  11. As much as we want the expatriate coach we should also consider their track record or CV let’s take for example gordon igesund, last season the club that he was coaching finished bottom in the south African premier league and yet this is the man that you wanted to been coaching the nation team the man who failed at club level can he succeed with the nation team?the answer is No

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