IT is difficult for Zambia soccer players to be included on CAF’s 37-man shortlist for 2015 African Player of the Year award because they lack consistence in their play, says former Chipolopolo midfielder and current Power Dynamos coach Tenant Chilumba.
Chilumba said it was disappointing that Zambia did not have a player on the CAF list.
“I feel the coaches have done their part. What I have observed in the current crop of players is inconsistence. Today a player can shine in two or three games and later become a shadow,
“The players are failing to maintain consistence in their play. Many become confortable after making it on the final list. Complacency creeps in. So it is difficult to compete for African Player of the Year award,” he said.
He said Zambia had talented players and all they needed was to work harder for them to dominate the continent.
“I still believe in the next few years, Zambia can contribute two or more players to the award. But that calls for everyone’s support.,
“The players need to work hard to maintain consistence. Players should put the game first before money. Prove yourself at club level, before setting eyes on the national team,” he said.
Meanwhile, ex-Chipolopolo defender Allan Kamwanga said Zambian players would easily make the CAF list once they begin to play in competitive leagues.
“Most of the players making the 37-player shortlist play for high profile clubs in Europe. Our players are in China and South Africa, these leagues are not competitive. Many of the players are failing to dominate at their clubs,” he said.
Zambian players have failed to impress in the continental awards to break the jinx set by legendary football player and now FAZ boss Kalusha Bwalya who won the 1988 Africa footballer of the year award.
Kalusha appeared in multiple tournaments, including six editions of the AFCON. Kalusha also played a crucial role in the rebuilding for a new national team after the entire squad perished off the coast of Gabon in 1993.
On Monday CAF released the 37-man shortlist for 2015 African Player of the Year award with Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Ivorian Yaya Toure (Manchester City) and Andre Ayew ( Swansea City) making the list.