TWO days before the Zambia national soccer team meets Niger in the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Niamey, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has reinforced the technical bench with little-known Nico Labohm from Netherlands as assistant coach to Honour Janza.
Labohm, an instructor and academy coach, was unveiled yesterday at the Heros National Stadium by FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya in full view of Chipolopolo players led by skiper Christopher Katongo and some FAZ executive members.
Kalu announced that Labohm’s task was to qualify the Chipolopolo senior team to the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in the remaining four games.
Zambia plays her last game in November against Cape Verde at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
“He is an experienced instructor, coach and he has been around for so many years. He has to Hong Kong, Ukraine, South Africa, Tunisia and now Zambia and what is important for us is to find somebody who knows a little bit of the terrain and the situation we are in,” said Kalu.
When asked about Lahbom’s title, Kalu said, “assistant to Janza. He has to ask the players that we have to win all the games in front of us. And the length of the attachment is until November and what happens is either he will stay depending on whether he will or not have other offers. But we hope that he will want to work with us here.”
The FAZ president said it was Lahbom’s opportunity to work harder and develop the kind of talent the nation has.
“We have said that we need to co-opt somebody to the technical bench to help Janza, Davis Phiri and Nchitu Kampamba. He will bring his vast knowledge and a lot of experience. This is what we need in the qualifiers. We still have four more games to play,” said Kalu.
Kalu said Lahbom’s first task of qualifying the team will end in November with the possiblity of extending it depending on whether he would want to stay or not.
“I hope he will receive a lot of support from the entire country so that we can have the desired results. As you know we a re playing the qualifiers. We have an away game to Niger this weekend and next week we are hosting Niger here before we play gainst Mozambique in Maputo and Cape Verde here”.
“We are in a prevalleged position as Zambia becauise of the name we have, and Lahbom felt that he was duty bound to come at short notice to help the team. He will come and add and subtruct for the betterment of the team,” he said.
Kalu challenged the senior Chipolopolo players to redeem themselves and qualify just like the Shepolopolo national soccer team has done together with the U-17 and U-17 boys teams.