By FELIX MALUNGA –
ZAMBIA’S 2014 CAF Champions League envoys, Nkana have declared that they will only celebrate the new year after winning Africa’s prestigious club competition.
Nkana, who last featured in the Champions League in 2002 where they were eliminated in the second round, have made winning of the continental title as one of their 2014 resolutions.
Coach Masautso Mwale said Nkana’s journey to realise their aspirations for the new year would begin on January 1 after sealing events of 2013 on December 31.
Mwale said in an interview yesterday that the record 12-time Zambian league champions were determined to break new ground in 2014 but that success could only be achieved with hard work.
He said Nkana would work hard not to disappoint the nation but strive to get the coveted African trophy which carries a $1.5 million prize tag.
“We have to deliver for the nation and we should not disappoint. We will only celebrate 2013 by winning the Champions League. We need to realise our 2014 resolutions and our journey starts on January 1 but this calls for adequate preparations and hard work,” Mwale said before taking the Kitwe giants for yesterday’s training session.
He said after winning the 2013 MTN Premier Division League championship, the club promised itself to do one better in 2014 by launching a serious assault on the African Champions League title.
“We promised ourselves to do one better. We have to realise our dream,” the Zambia assistant trainer said.
To achieve their goal, Mwale challenged the players to rise to the occasion and deliver for the nation.
He said the players needed to have self belief in their abilities for them to succeed.
Mwale also said he believed the players in the squad were capable of launching a serious challenge for the continental championship.
However, Nkana’s journey towards the 2014 crown begins with a tricky preliminary round assignment in February against Swaziland champions, Mbabane Swallows.
Nkana missed out on winning the Champions League forerunner, the African Club Champions Cup, by a whisker in 1990, losing 2-4 on penalties to Algerian giants, JS Kabylie.
The two teams had tied 1-1 over two legs in the final.
Nkana also hope to retain the MTN Premier Division League title in 2014.