CAF envoys have work to do

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
HAVING shown consistency and ambition over the past two years, we should perhaps not be surprised that Green Eagles have qualified for the CAF Champions League while baby born with teeth Buildcon will for the first time play continental football.
Usual suspects Zesco United have also returned to the Champions League, while another experienced continental campaigner, Zanaco, will be in the Confederation Cup.
The only surprise is that Nkana, who have some pedigree in continental football, did not seem hungry enough to qualify either for the Champions League or the Confederation Cup.
This is the second time that Eagles will be playing continental football with the first having been last year when they reached the first round of the Confederation Cup after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Algerian side Hussein Dey.
With that experience, I am sure the Aggrey Chiyangi-led technical bench have a clue of what to expect in Africa.
But truth be told, Eagles need to improve the squad if they are to make an impact in the prestigious championship.
They may probably need to break the bank, not necessarily breaking up the team, which has been together for a while.
They need to rope in players with experience of playing Champions League football.
I know being a military side, there are dos and don’ts over the engagement of foreign players.
Still, it will not be a bad idea to recruit three players that will make a difference because the country wants to see Eagles and Zesco rubbing shoulders with the cream of the continent.
Time for making up numbers in the Champions League is long gone.
Chiyangi and his assistants should sit down and identify players that will add depth to Eagles.
It will not be smooth sailing for Eagles in the Champions League, which is regarded as a meeting place for the crème de la crème of Africa.
Buildcon have a lot of work to do.
Club proprietor Moses Mubanga and the Srdjan Zivjnov-led technical bench need to strategise to ensure that Buildcon do not become whipping boys in the Confederation Cup.
The Confederation Cup is different from the Super Division, and so it is imperative for Buildcon to be adequately prepared.
“We will be cautious and try to enjoy every game that we play and see how far we can go. Obviously, preferably we want to qualify to the group stage,” Mubanga said on Sunday.
Zanaco need to improve in defence if they are to go far in the Confederation Cup.
They conceded 28 times more than demoted Prison Leopards, who allowed 27 goals.
Coach Mumamba Numba should get quality defenders to avoid an early exit from the competition.
In attack, Zanaco hit the back of the net 40 times, the highest across the two streams.
Zesco equally need to improve the squad to stand a chance of reaching the CAF Champions League group stage and beyond.
Some players are tired and need to be replaced.
Zambians expect Zesco to hit the ground running and better the first round exit last year after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe.
Let’s talk football on,

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