GREEN Buffaloes coach Bilton Musonda has blamed the poorly planned national soccer team programme for his players’ failure to put up a good game in the 2016 Samuel “Zoom” Ndhlovu Charity Shield final and doubted a good performance at national level.
Speaking to journalists after Buffaloes lost 1-0 to Power Dynamos in a Charity Shield final played at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium on Wednesday, Musonda said the national soccer team training programme was affecting the performance of clubs.
He said five of his players were part of the Chipolopolo preparing for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo Brazzaville this month but were only released on Tuesday night to the club.
“We are very disappointed with the result as a team. I would blame the national team programme because our five national team players traveled on Sunday and came back Tuesday night. You have seen the way they are playing. These are national team players, if they play like that then where are we going as a nation?” he asked.
Musonda said it was unfortunate that the clubs have continued to bear the consequences of the poorly planned national team programme.
“The blame is with the national team; they have to plan well so that even we as clubs are not affected. It is unfortunate because of the planning. We are playing on Wednesday instead of playing on a holiday yesterday (Tuesday); we had a free weekend but they bring the game on Wednesday,” he said.
The five Buffaloes players in the national team are Stephen Kabamba, Adrian Chama, Buchizya Mfune, Jackson Chirwa and Christopher Katongo.
He advised the team to put the loss behind and focus on winning the 2016 MTN/FAZ Super League opening match against Green Eagles on Sunday.
“We may have lost the Charity Shield but our attention should shift to the league. We are going to put our heads together for us to collect maximum points in Choma. Our target this season is a top two finish,” he said.