(By Darious Kapembwa and Vera Phiri)
CHIPOLOPOLO coach Wedson Nyirenda says Chipolopolo needs to get back to winning ways as the team opens the four-nations’ tournament against Zimbabwe tomorrow.
FAZ took advantage of the FIFA sanctioned international friendly calendar to organise a tournament with Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The tournament takes place at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola and the team has set base at Moba Hotel in Kitwe.
Speaking after Monday’s morning training session at Arthur Davies Stadium, Nyirenda said he was happy with the positive energy the players have exhibited in camp.
Zambia has posted inconsistent results against Zimbabwe in recent history and Nyirenda would be looking to better that recent record of one loss and two draws.
“We need to come back to our winning ways; we have drawn so many games against them. They beat us in COSAFA and if you look at the composition of the team at the COSAFA, it’s different but they did their best. I think from this game, we are going to learn from each other, we are going to teach each other as well. What is more important is to start recording some victory so that it remains in our game,” he said.
And Nyirenda said only hard work on the pitch will stabilise Zambia’s position on FIFA rankings, adding that it was important to take advantage of FIFA dates to improve things.
“I try as much as possible to forget about the rankings, and just to work. Because it’s the work that will move rankings up, so the best is to do work on the ground, make sure that we play good football, make sure that you are winning and forget about it. In due time, you will find that the rankings will come,” said Nyirenda.
Belgium-based Emmanuel Banda was the only professional that trained with local players.
And all foreign based players summoned for the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament have joined camp in Kitwe ahead of today’s opening match against Zimbabwe. Team manager Hastings Ndovi confirmed to FAZfootball.com that all the players Nyirenda had summoned have joined camp with only Zesco United players who were on continental duty in Ivory Coast being awaited.
Spartak Moscow’s Fashion Sakala and Emmanuel Banda of K.V Oostende were the first ones to join on Sunday.
The quartet of Enock Mwepu (Liefering FC), Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga (both Orlando Pirates) and Salulani Phiri (Polokwane City) arrived in Ndola at 18:00 hours.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe national team became the first foreign team to arrive and have set up base at Moba Hotel in Kitwe where the Zambian team is also staying.
The Palancas Negras of Angola arrived on Monday with South Africa completing the arrivals when they jet in yesterday afternoon. FAZ has organised the tournament during the FIFA window ensuring that participants field their strongest squads.
Zambia will play Zimbabwe while South Africa takes on Angola, with the games played in a double header event on Wednesday.
Matches will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.