Football Sport

Renard reunion excites Sunzu

SUNZU

DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Lusaka
DEFENDER Stopilla Sunzu is happy to reunite with former national team coach Herve Renard.
And Red Arrows striker Patrick Ngoma has signed for Egyptian Premier League side Ittihad Alexandria.
Sunzu, who joined Renard’s French outfit Lille Olympique Sporting Club (LOSC) on loan from China’s Shanghai Shenhua, was unveiled yesterday.
The 26-year-old has reunited with Renard for the third time having played under the Frenchman for the Chipolopolo and French side Sochaux.
Sunzu said in an interview that he is excited to join the French side and reunite with his former Chipolopolo coach whom he described as a father.
“This is very good news for me to join a club like Lille. I’ve known Herve Renard for a long time, his presence was an important element in my decision to commit myself to Lille. He is like a father to me,” he said.
The pair enjoyed international success together in 2012 when Renard led Zambia to the first Africa Cup of Nations title, with Sunzu scoring the winning spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out win over Ivory Coast.
And Renard told the club website that Sunzu is a player with many qualities although he sometimes lacks maturity.
Renard is optimistic Sunzu will make it at Lille.
“Sunzu is a very athletic defender, he also has the ability to go fast. This is a player who has many qualities, but can sometimes still lack a bit of maturity. He needs to be steered and that will happen playing with Renato Civelli or Marko Basa,” he said.
Renard recalled Sunzu’s contribution to Zambia’s Africa Cup victory in 2012 and that he will add value to the French side.
“During the African Nations Cup won with Zambia in 2012, he was our rock. Without him, it would have been difficult to achieve the final victory. His signing is a plus for our team,” Renard said.
Sunzu is today expected to make his debut against Portuguese side Sporting Braga in a friendly match.
And Arrows chairperson Nolasco Chilando said the club is not aware about Ngoma’s deal with the Egyptian side.
“We shall get to the bottom of it. We only got reports that he has signed for Ittihad but as a club, we are not aware about it. We have not received any official communications and as far as we are concerned he is still our player,” Chilando said.
Ngoma becomes the second Zambian to play for Ittihad after midfielder Felix Katongo who left the Alexandria-based side last year.
Ngoma together with Power Dynamos striker Patson Daka attended trials at Lille last month.
And midfielder Allan Mukuka has been added to the AmaZulu squad for the 2015/2016 season.
According soccer Laduma, Mukuka was yesterday expected to be unveiled among other new signings that have joined the Durban-based National First Division side.

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