‘UNDER-23 FORMIDABLE’

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…Serious preps needed now – Wada

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

FORMER Zambia national team coach Wedson “Wada” Nyirenda says Zambia has a strong under-23 side but there was need for serious preparations to increase the chances of an Olympic qualification.

In an interview, Nyirenda said an international camp and high profile friendly matches would be good for the team’s preparations.

He said the team’s qualification to the Egypt Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for this November calls for more hard work. “Firstly, I would like to congratulate the team, Zambia Under-23, on their qualification to AFCON finals. It is one step down. It is one thing to qualify and another thing to be there and compete.

“It is no time to fold our legs and enjoy the pouring accolades. It calls for proper planning and programming, then preparations come in,” Nyirenda said.

Nyirenda called on the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to provide the technical bench with all the requirements to build a formidable side.

“Let’s give the coaching staff what they want in terms of facilities and logistics to do their work well. Football politics must be dropped and everyone must work with one another.

“If there is a chance for the team to camp outside and also have very serious test matches, it will be good for the team,” Nyirenda said.

The Baroka fc of South Africa tactician said the team led by skipper Solomon Sakala have shown consistency and the passion to raise the Zambian flag high.

He was impressed with the team spirit exhibited in Brazzaville, adding that Zambia will be a side to watch in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Chipolopolo Fans Association president Yotam Mwanza hailed the boys for a resilient fight.

Mwanza said their qualification brought a beam of light in Zambian football even as the nation looks forward to a maiden World Cup qualification.

Eight countries will compete for the continental title at the Egypt finals which will run from November 8 to 22. The top three teams will qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. dRe

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