By Stanislus Kunda
Zambian coaches when it comes to team selection get it wrong on the personnel.
Enerst Mbewe can’t be more creative than Kelvin Mubanga for instance, or is Green Eagles impressive Amity Shamenda not good enough to be considered because his definitely talented.
Allan Chibwe is a failed project in goal just like Toaster Nsabata, but it’s either them selected at the expense of a seemingly talented goal keeper with arguably the best reflexes in the league Lawrence Mulenga of Power Dynamos.
Adrian Chama with lack of height from the usual standard of Elijah Litana, Jones Mwewa, Allan kamwanga,Stopila Sunzu or Hichani Himmonde is mind boggling with his aerial inadqences having been tellingly exposed by the tall imposing Nigerian strikers last time out at Levy Mwanawasa stadium. But coaches still see so much sense in selecting him. And that baffles!
Team selection at the national team is not done on merit items of form, scouting, ability and sometimes potential from a coaching aspect, but instead it is usually selection that is closer to guess work.
Up to today, Chipolopolo has no steady right back like it used to be customary back then with the likes of late John Soko or Hillary Makasa that was a consistent feature at left back at national team. Instead there’s been a chain of flip flopping from Zesco’s Silwimba and Kapumbu under George Lwandamina, to Solomon Sakala, Lawrence Chungu and other makeshift additions deployed there with no aura of consistency.
It appears Zambian coaches have a tendency to pick or select players they know rather than picking players that fit the profile. Often selection of players has had the involvement of soccer fans demanding for the consideration of impressive articles in the league, that coaches themselves omit or overlook.
In instances where this has been reminded, such brilliance has been overlooked from the likes of Kennedy Mudenda at some stage when he was quite a marvel to watch, Joseph Sitali, Ronald Kampamba at Nkana, the consistent Dauti Musekwa at Zesco United or Buchizya Mfune at GBFC. That’s because these coaches when left it to them can even unjustifiably select a player like Shamajompa, who at one point was club less for six months before joining Buildcon.
The current crop of local coaches unfortunately do not have the eye for genuine talent that coaches like Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndlovu possessed. Coaches today can just coach but can’t discover, nurture or manage games. A genuine case in point; was how coach Tenant Chilumba at Kabwe Warriors let it slip with two or three matches left in the transitional league season.