Veteran coach backs Katongo, Chansa

FORMER Zambia national soccer team coach Patrick Phiri has backed the inclusion of seasoned midfielder Isaac Chansa and striker Christopher Katongo in the provisional team preparing for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) slated for Rwanda next month.

Phiri said in an interview that the team needed experienced players to inspire the young lads at the CHAN tournament.

He said the technical bench decision to draft Chansa and Katongo was a good move that could produce positive results in Rwanda.

“The inclusion of Chansa and Katongo is a welcome move. These are players that have proved themselves at higher levels.

They will inspire the team at the tournament.  I am sure the young players will draw a lot of strength from the two especially during a tough game,” he said.

He advised the two to embrace the young lads and provide guidance as they target winning a title for the country.

Phiri said with the right attitude, the Chipolopolo boys had a chance to go past the preliminary stage.

“Mali, Zimbabwe and Uganda are good sides and will give the boys a tough game. But I am confident that Zambia can go to the next round. We have the experience that can take us to the finals, but the boys need to have a right attitude,” he said.

Ex-international midfielder Evans Sakala said the players need to work hard and disciplined to give a good performance at such a competitive tournament.

Sakala said Zimbabwe has lately proved a thorn in Zambia’s flesh and therefore the boy’s face a tough challenge from the Warriors.

“Zimbabwe isn’t just the tough opponent but also Mali. The West Africans are usually a    threat hence the boys need to push harder in training,” he said.

The CHAN tournament will run from January 16 to February 7 in Rwanda.