By SANDRA MWILA –
NEWLY appointed Chipolopolo coach, Honour Janza has set his sight on qualifying Zambia to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals despite some challenges the team may face on the way to Morocco.
Janza told journalists in Lusaka yesterday that he had received the Chipolopolo job with passion and would work hard with the technical bench to qualify the team to the 30th AFCON finals.
“We are on a plane and as a pilot we have to put our efforts together with a view of landing safely and our destination is Morocco,” he said.
Janza, who is Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) technical director, said the journey to Morocco may not be smooth sailing and asked Zambians to rally behind him and the team.
“There may be turbulences on the way to Morocco but all I ask the people of Zambia is to rally behind us on this journey,” Janza said.
He said qualifying to the 2015 AFCON was a huge task and could be made easy if the players co-operated and remain focused on the task.
Despite Patrice Beaumelle leaving the Chipolopolo a month before they start their campaign for the AFCON, Janza said the squad would not be affected by the Frenchman’s absence.
“We can’t afford to start crying over spilt milk, the players should just remain focused and moreover the coach didn’t carry the players with him, they remained behind,” he said.
Janza, however, said he had learnt a lot from Beaumelle during his stay and wished him well in his future endeavours.
He also called on local senior coaches from clubs to be free to offer advice for the betterment of the Chipolopolo as they begin their journey for Morocco on September 6 against Mozambique.
“We will not underrate or overrate any team. We will ensure we prepare adequately and assemble a strong team for the AFCON qualifiers,” Janza said.
He said there was enough time to prepare the team as the local players would soon be regrouping while the foreign legion were busy at their respective clubs.
On Monday, FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya announced the appointment of Janza as Chipolopolo trainer after Beaumelle, whose contract expired last month, opted to leave Zambia for Ivory Coast.
Beaumelle and Janza were assistants to Herve Renard when Zambia won the AFCON title in 2012.
Zambia is Group F of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers where the Chipolopolo will fight for the two slots for Morocco with the Cape Verde, Niger and Mozambique.
Meanwhile, Renard, who was last Thursday appointed head coach for Ivory Coast, has confirmed that Beaumelle is joining him in Abidjan as assistant.
According to Supersport, Renard held a Press conference on Monday in Abidjan where he announced the engagem ent of the 36-year-old compatriot.
“Patrice Beaumelle has decided to join me. He is an excellent fitness coach with good qualifications. He was my assistant in Angola, Algeria at USM Alger and then in Zambia. We have got so many things in common,” Renard, who clinched a two-year deal with the Elephants, said Renard.