Napsa put another coach on ‘pension’

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
LAST week, Napsa Stars fired coach Elijah Chikwanda barely two months after he was engaged.Chikwanda, who was dismissed following a string of poor results, was engaged on April 10 as a replacement for Linos Makwaza.
Chikwanda’s booting brings the number of trainers that have been shown the exit door by various clubs to four this season, with the others being Arena Gulglemo at Buildcon, Makwaza himself at Napsa and Albert Mpande at Nkwazi.
Chikwanda has been replaced by Mohammed Fathy, a former National Assembly and Kabwe Warriors boss.
If there is one thing the firing of Chikwanda suggests, it is that coaches are not being given enough time at clubs, where the administrators are quick to press the panic button after a few uninspiring results.
Administrators should not be in a hurry to dismiss coaches without looking at the bigger picture. For instance, is the squad at the disposal of the coach good enough to meet the aspirations of the coach and club? In most cases, that is not the case.
In the case of Chikwanda, he got the job after the Napsa Stars executive committee and the technical bench had already recruited players for the 2018 season.
He had to work with players at his disposal, and along the way, Chikwanda guided Napsa to a 2-1 win over Zanaco, the only victory for the Pensioners so far. They have managed seven draws and given in to 11 defeats to occupy the 19th position with 10 points at par with tail-enders New Monze Swallows.
Perhaps it is time for the Napsa executive to invest in quality players during the transfer window opening on July 1.
If Napsa do not buy quality players, then they should be ready to campaign in Division One Zone One next year, regardless of who is at the helm of the team as coach.
Fathy and his assistants Evans Sakala and Sipho Mumbi should demand for players that can bring desired results if they are to avoid the chop.
By the way, where is Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZaFCA)? ZaFCA officials should stand up and be counted and ensure that coaches are not fired at will.
I am aware that coaching is result-oriented but at times, coaches are sacrificed even if the material at their disposal is raw.
ZaFCA should sensitise its members to understand the contracts they are signing so that they are not dismissed at will when results do not go their way.
To Fathy, a good friend of mine, I wish him success as he strives to save Napsa Stars from relegation.
Enjoy the World Cup and let us keep interacting on,

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