By SAMUEL LUKHANDA –
SVEN Vandenbroek is eyeing a long term contract from the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) so that he could be at the helm of the Chipolopolo up to Qatar 2022 World cup finals.
Vandenbroek said he was willing to stay on as Chipolopolo coach beyond the five-match contract inked on July 10, 2018 which ended in Zambia failing to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
But FAZ president Andrew Kamanga recently indicated that the future of the Chipolopolo coach would be decided by the executive committee when they meet to review the team performance.
Vandenbroek said he regretted not qualifying Zambia to the 2019 AFCON finals but that he came into a difficult situation with limited time but quickly added that he would not make excuses.
“If you ask if I want to continue, I say for sure yes because I see potential, I see commitment. I see also the ambition from the federation to make changes. They allowed me to bring the GPS, bring the new style, even backed me up in Mozambique after losing,” Vandenbroek said.
The Belgian trainer said this in interview at Garden Court Hotel in Kitwe where he is watching the Zambia Under-20 compete in the Mopani 2019 COSAFA Youth Championship.
Vandenbroek said it would be logical for him to stay on for four years engulfing the AFCON 2021, Under-23 AFCON 2019 and the Qatar 2022 to finish the programme he has started.
“I think that is a logical project. There are two AFCON’s, the first you can already scratch it out unfortunately but there is Under-23 AFCON and Olympics. That’s a beautiful project to work although I will not step in tactics and choices but will be there to see what is happening,” he said.
Vandenbroek said he was optimistic about the Under-23 prospects because the bulk of his lads in the senior set up are eligible to play like Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu, Justin Shonga, Solomon Sakala and Fashion Sakala.
He said the young Zambian players abroad have not developed progressively in balance with their talents because they lack game time and it has stunted their growth.
The Chipolopolo trainer said Zambian players lack the mental fortitude in times of adversity to win them the games and places.
“Breaking some things mentally is important to build a team but getting mentally stronger to survive when we go abroad is also an issue.”
Vandenbroek said a lot of people judged him on the results without taking into account a lot of other issues underneath those results but he does not frustrated with the negative talk because it is part of the job.
“I do not have a problem when people judge me but I have a problem sometimes they judge me just on the result. There is much more than the result. I think the way we started to play in September to October, you saw changes, most of the guys are happy with the changes, they play in Europe and the new guys want to pick up,” he said.
He said he would sit down with his technical team to decide who they keep in the team especially with one eye towards the next AFCON qualifiers considering some players will be advanced in age and the desire to brood youngsters.
“We first have to analyse deeply and make some decisions by end of January or beginning of February,” he said.
Vandenbroek is of the view that more needed to be done especially for local clubs in terms of getting players in good shape physically using modern techniques.