Game ON! with BENEDICT TEMBO
A FEW years ago, the calling of Moses Sichone by Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) was for a different reason – to beef up the central defence in the national team.
His arrival at FAZ this time around is equally critical to help FAZ put its house in order.
No football association or federation runs its affairs without a technical director because he is the main man as far as football development is concerned.
Unveiled on Thursday by FAZ president Andrew Kamanga, Sichone, 40, the former Nchanga Rangers and Chipolopolo defender comes to fill the shoes of Honour Janza, who holds the distinction of being the first technical director at FAZ.
Janza, who is now Red Arrows coach, spent 10 years at the FAZ secretariat where he also served as Chipolopolo assistant coach to Herve Renard.
In 2009, he was with the Under-20 national team and won the Council of Southern Africa Football Association Youth Championship.
In 2011, Janza was assistant to Dario Bonnet after Lucky Msiska was dropped. He and Boneti qualified Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
When the Italian coach left, Janza continued with Renard up to 2013.
Renard left in 2013 and Frenchman Patrice Beaumelle took over and left in 2014.
Janza took charge as head coach and qualified the Chipolopolo to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
He stayed as head coach for 11 months in which the Chipolopolo played seven games at home and lost none.
Janza left FAZ in January this year when the soccer governing body failed to meet his salary demands.
Janza has, however, continued performing duties of a technical director because he is still recognised as such by FIFA and is still a signatory to some development programmes in line with the world soccer governing body’s requirements.
It was, therefore, surprising that FAZ did not invite Janza to the occasion of unveiling Sichone.
As the incoming technical director, Sichone, who has spent almost two decades in the Bundesliga, he will need to be oriented by Janza who should relinquish the role of technical director this month.
Sichone has a lot of work ahead of him and will need the support of most of his colleagues in the coaching fraternity to realign Zambian football.
The oval office he is assuming at FAZ is the epi-centre of football development.
He will be in-charge of youth football and comes at a time when FAZ has, through the Ministry of Sport, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of General Education for tapping of talent at grassroots level.
He has trained under-13s at Alemannia Aachen where he also handled the Under-17s and Under-21s prior to taking up the role of technical director.
Sichone, who played 11 years in the Bundesliga and Cyprus, is best suited to handle that task.
Sichone will also ensure that the country has a viable women’s league by working hand-in-hand with Janet Bwalya, who heads the women’s desk at FAZ.
The referees, training and licencing managers will also fall under him.
He has to evaluate the viability of the youth league under his directorate to establish whether it has achieved its objectives.
He will be representing FAZ at Confederation of African Football (CAF) meetings to discuss football development on the continent.
Luckily, Sichone is already a member of the Zambia Former Footballers Association (ZFFA), therefore, coming up with an archive should not be a problem.
Visitors to Football House usually want to know the country’s soccer history which Sichone should easily document.
He should open up and work with the likes of Janza, Lewis Shambulo, Fred Mwila, Dickson Makwaza, Edward Musonda, Abraham Nkole, Davies Phiri, Daniel Kabwe, Peter Chitila and the entire ZFFA membership to rejuvenate Zambian football.
While he may want his office at FAZ air conditioned and served tea/coffee with milk or fruit juice, cheese, bacon and apples every hour, Sichone should understand that the bulk of his work will be in the field ensuring that coaching programmes are being implemented effectively.
He has to visit all the 10 provinces from time to time to see to it that soccer development is getting there.
No province or district should be left behind in delivering quality football and refereeing clinics.
So, beyond FAZ meeting his salary demands, he should also be given a 4×4 vehicle for his outreach programmes in the rural areas of Zambia.
He also needs a fully equipped office with all ICT tools to make his work easy.
Kamanga, his entire executive and secretariat should give Sichone full support to implement his Germany-style ideas.
After all, the technical directorate is the centre of football development in the country.
Those who will fail to embrace Sichone’s vision should not be stumbling blocks and should be kicked out.
It is my sincere hope that Sichone will unite Zambian football if he hopes to achieve not only his aspirations but the country’s too.
Sichone has brought a fresh aroma of European football management to Football House.
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