Football Sport

Nkana exit avoidable

NKANA TRAINING

SOCCER REVIEW with STEPHEN PHIRI
NKANA’s elimination from the 2014 Confederation Cup was avoidable.
Therefore, their 0-3 bashing at Sewe Sport in Abidjan last Saturday came as a huge disappointment to the Zambian soccer fraternity.
Nkana had the tournament in their hands and all they needed was to plan thoroughly to claim their place in African football.
Despite having been drawn against two North Africanand one West African clubs in Group B of the Confederation Cup, Nkana had destiny in their hands with a little more focus and determination.
Nkana should have looked beyond the borders for exceptional talent, but they restricted themselves to players from Kalulushi Modern Stars, Nchanga Rangers and Power Dynamos.
Of course, local is good but going into the Champions League entails having players who have huge ambitions and want to use the platform for exposure.
That, I think, was lacking by the former Red Devils who appeared to lack both hindsight and foresight.
Playing in Africa should be seen as a huge investment and any club going there should stock adequate ammunition.
The calibre of a club like Nkana should not be having a crisis whenever one or two players are either injured or sick because Mopani Copper Mines has given them an open cheque.
They should be able to bid for the best talent in Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria,  Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Tanzania to form a solid team for local and continental challenge.
But their exit is now history and I pray that they quickly recover to concentrate on the task at hand and possibly retain the title.
I hope that teams like Zanaco, Zesco United and Power Dynamos, who are so far the main contenders for the title, will learn from the Nkana experience and begin to take necessary steps.
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I appreciate that the Zambia Army has recognised Charles Bwale’s coaching talent by recommending him to take over at Young Buffaloes in Swaziland.
But Bwale qualified the senior women’s national team to the African Women Championship finals in Namibia and I am therefore appealing to the Zambia Army command to allow him finish off the work he started by taking the team to Namibia in October.
Bwale baked the cake and it is only fair that he eats it.
Meantime, he may go ahead and discuss personal terms with the Swazi Army and sign the contract, then he should be allowed to come and finish off the work.
sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com

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