Hard work is now bearing fruit-Kamanga

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 10:25:43 +0000

By Bennie Mundando

WE had a very tough transition period but the work we have put in is now bearing fruit since our aim was to end the year on a high note and the Under-20 national soccer team has just done that, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga has said.

And Minister of Sports Moses Mawere has said that Government will render all the support needed to adequately prepare the team ahead of the 2017 African Youth Championship which will be held in Zambia from 26th February – 12th March even if it means camping the team overseas.

Speaking after Zambia mint gold at the just-ended COSAFA tournament in South Africa following beating the hosts 2-1, Kamanga said hard work and selflessness by the current executive had started showing fruits and that he was happy with the way the team played because it showed character throughout the tournament and conqured the region.

He challenged the FAZ executive committee to continue working hard in its quest to improve football in the country, saying that time to show the result was now.

“Today is an exciting day and I think the work we have put in is now bearing fruit. We have had a very tough transition and I think we have gone to the basics and I think that team is the future of Zambian football. To the executive committee, all I can say is that let us continue working. Let us continue putting more efforts and the results will show. We have been given a mandate of four years and the results will start coming. We did indicate earlier on that we wanted to end the year on a high note and this has happened,” Kamanga said.

He said with the programme lined up for the team, the Junior Chipolopolo Boys will be ready for the continental competition which the country will be hosting next year.

“All plans are in place. We are going to prepare the team adequately, we have two friendlies and camping in Spain lined up, and so we think by the time we will be approaching the tournament, we will be ready. These boys have shown total commitment. The boys have enjoyed the football; they have played the best at the level of U-20 and I think I see quiet a number of the young stars making it into the senior team in the near future,” he said.

He said FAZ wanted the U-20 to at least reach the semi-finals of the Youth Championship and qualify for the World Cup.

“It is our target. We need to get this boys to get used to playing at the World Cup and they can come and aspire to play at the next AFCON and also be part of the 2022 World Cup. President Edgar Lungu has supported football through and through and the minister has also done well and that is why he is here with us,” he said.

And Mawere said Government will offer 100 percent support to the team in its preparations ahead of the tournament next year.  “As Government, we have invested a lot into football and our investment has yielded the fruits today and I can assure you that this is the future of Zambia. Come next year, we want to lift the U-20 Africa Cup. We are giving the team 100 percent support just like we have done here. If it means camping them in Europe, we will give them the support.

The jubilant U-20 team arrived in the country yesterday around 12:30.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button