Sports

Micho’s wish

…Hopes league season could be done by July to allow for CHAN preps

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
COACH Milutin “Micho” Sredojević hopes the league season can be completed by July to ensure the players are in shape for the CHAN tournament which may be held in August.
And Micho says despite the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to football activities, his technical bench is still having hard- working days to ensure the target of Chipolopolo returning to winning ways is intact.
Appearing on ZNBC’S Sport On programme yesterday, the Chipolopolo gaffer said there was information that FIFA/CAF that the March and June windows had been pushed to September, October and November.
With this likely development, Micho was hoping the national team could have at least three weeks of preparation before playing in any competition.
He said playing the remaining nine games would give an opportunity to the technical bench to assess the players’ fitness levels.
“We are having crucial information that as FIFA and CAF directs, some signs that our two windows in March and June have been pushed towards September, October and November. Whereas psyching ourselves for that time, we are looking forward according to institutional line of FAZ to Ministry of sport, to Ministry Health, Government and the President that we are allowed to go back to football,”
“Once we are allowed to go back to football, we shall have at least three weeks of preparation from individual work in close space to work in the groups and work with the teams. Nine matches of the league to be played, during that period we can see the shape of our players. We are dreaming of the perfect scenario that by July, we are finishing everything. CHAN could be played in August,” he said.
He said he was looking to use the CHAN tournament to build the confidence of local players which is vital ahead of the AfCON qualifiers later on.
CAF indefinitely postponed the CHAN tournament which was scheduled for April 4 to 25 in Cameroon and also the 2021 AfCON qualifiers due to Covid-19. In Zambia, the 2019/2020 league season was suspended in March due to the same reason.
Micho said together with the goalkeeping coach, they are working towards setting up a goalkeeping academy.
He lamented that goalkeeping is one department that has been neglected with the country having last conducted a coaching course in 1998.

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