Maintain U-20 team – fans

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:01:10 +0000



THERE is need for the technical bench to maintain the COSAFA winning team if we are to perform better at the U-20 Youth Championship next year, fans have advised FAZ technical bench.

Speaking to the Daily Nation sports yesterday, Zambia Sports Fans’ Association (ZASPOFA) patron Peter Makembo said there was need for consistency in the U-20 national football team if the team was to continue reaping medals.

Pastor Makembo said the current team comprises of players who can play anywhere in the world and that lifting the COSAFA trophy could be the beginning of great things to come if players were maintained.

He said with government committing to supporting the team in its preparations ahead of the continental tournament next year, it was up to the technical bench to live up to the expectations of the fans who are demanding nothing less than a semi-final finish to enable the team qualify for the World Cup.

He said the quality in the team had given confidence to the fans that the team was capable of winning the Under-20 championship at home but added that such an ambition could only be achieved depending on what the technical bench does to the team between now and the time for the tournament.

He said while the temptation to have incidental inclusions in the team was high, such inclusions should be done with caution so that the cohesion and bonding the players have currently is not broken because that was key to winning matches by having players who understood each other better.

He said the strikers in the current team are just what Zambians were looking for especially that goals in the senior team were not forth-coming adding that if the team is kept together for years to come, the boys would just be a senior national team that Zambians have missed over the years.

“No one changes a winning team and that is what we expect from the technical bench. Of course they may be tempted to bring in a few international players to beef up the squad when they hear that other countries are bringing star-studded teams but that should be done with caution because the current Under 20 is strong enough to play against any team with professional players.

“Government has committed to supporting the team in its preparations before the tournament next year just like it had done for the COSAFA and as fans, we are very happy with this gesture because this is what will develop all sports disciplines in our country and we say hats off to President Edgar Lungu for not only being a mere FAZ patron, but someone who has sports at heart,” Pastor Makembo said.

He however said he has a lot of confidence in the technical bench that it would deliver accordingly in next year’s tournament.

“I have known Beston Chambeshi for over a long time now and I can tell you that he is a man who believes in perfection. I have never doubted his capabilities both as a player and coach and when I look at the technical bench, its composition understands Zambian football better and this is why we have been saying that we need to give preference to local coaches over foreign ones.

“If we had foreign coaches on that technical bench, by now we would have been saying we are building a team but for how long will we continue building teams? We already have teams; the problem we have is identifying players because most of these foreign coaches don’t even follow the local league and are only interested in names of players and not their capabilities,” he said.


Kamanga’s election to COSAFA no mean achievement-Keegan Mumba


THE election of FAZ president Andrew Kamanga to the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) as executive committee member is no mean achievement for him and the country because it is an indication that he commands respect from the region, former FAZ official Keegan Mumba has said.

Mumba said the election of Kamanga to the regional body demonstrated the confidence that the region had in his leadership and that it was a step in the right direction as it would contribute immensely to the development of football in the country.

He said having a representation in such regional bodies gave a voice to the country and opened opportunities for other football administrations to take leadership roles that that will make them better administrators and help in running football in the country.

He said the election of Kamanga had come at the right time when Football House seemed to be going back and forth due to some individuals whose aim was to derail the current executive from achieving its goals by creating unnecessary squabbles to defend their opinions and interests.

He said Kamanga had shamed his critics who were preoccupied with enchanting his alleged failures without looking at the positives he had brought into the association such as transparency and his desire for national teams to excel.

“It shows that he commands recognition in the region. It is not only his personal achievement but this is also an achievement for the country and it has come at the right time when his critics have been taking turns condemning him for his alleged failures instead of giving him room to work. It is a double achievement for the country especially after such a splendid performance by the U-20 team which has just lifted the COSAFA cup.

“My only appeal to him is that he should not limit his scope of aspiration. He is now at COSAFA but we want him to aspire for CAF and FIFA positions and also open opportunities for his fellow Zambians because if we have experienced soccer administrators in such high-profile offices, then we are assured of soccer development in the country. Locally, he should also engage people with vast experience to help him run football,” Mumba said.

He said there was need for Zambians to support Kamanga by accepting that he was the FAZ boss and allowing him to work freely without interference saying squabbles and antagonism at FAZ have contributed to national teams’ poor performances in previous assignments.

Kamanga was elected to the executive committee of COSAFA following elections held during the regional football governing body’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Sun City on Saturday, December 17.

Cosafa announced that the FAZ president was one of the five successful candidates to make up ordinary executive committee membership, with the other four being General Pedro Neto (Angola), Sameer Sobha (Mauritius), Alberto Simanga (Mozambique), and Walter Nyamilandu-Manda (Malawi) who served in the outgoing executive committee as an ordinary member.

The election also ushered in a new president in Zimbabwe’s Philip Chiyangwa after Suketu Patel of Seychelles, who had served for two terms, decided not to stand.


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