By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
FOOTBALL administrator, Ponga Liwewe has urged Zambian players to be disciplined and continue working hard as skill alone is not enough to guarantee them success.
Liwewe, who is Power Dynamos executive committee member, said many times Zambian players have failed to make a mark on the international scene despite been highly skilful due to lack of discipline and hard work.
He said Zambian players had a notion that when one was highly talented, the doors to success would open on their own, the situation he described as a myth.
Liwewe said there were several examples of Zambian players, who were massively talented but had failed to make it into the major leagues in Europe because of indiscipline.
He said only hardworking and disciplined players stood a better chance of making it in Europe.
“It must be known to the players that being skilful alone will not bring them any good fortunes beyond the Zambian borders. To be a successful player especially in Europe, one needs to have a combination of all three attributes.
“The world-class players we see on television are not just skilled, they work extremely hard to stay at the top and are very disciplined. In Africa, West Africa has beaten us all to this and we need to learn from them,” he said.
Liwewe said European clubs mostly preferred players from West Africa because of the qualities they possessed.
He gave an example of the Asante Kotoko Academy of Ghana, which had a group of 35 players and from those, up to 28 made into European football while those who failed was mainly because of injuries.
“That is a record for Africa and we must learn from that. But ultimately, the reason is that the players are disciplined, focused and work extremely hard. It’s not that they are all talented,” Liwewe said.
He said it was not an impossible mission for Zambia to achieve a similar feat and called on the local players to work hard and be focused on playing abroad.
Liwewe said in as much as local fans and administrators would like to keep their best players and win many titles, the pleasure was bigger when a player makes it in foreign land especially Europe.