Sunday Jul 18, 2021. 16:00
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is gone, but who will replace him as Chipolopolo Zambia coach? Africanfootballcom profiles the three prospective local candidates.
Club: Zesco United
Numba is a two-time FAZ Super League title winner as coach and lifted his first with seven-time winners Zanaco in 2016 and at nine-time champions Zesco United whom he has just led to 2020/2021 triumph in his debut season in charge.
He guided Zanaco to two continental group stage campaigns in the 2017 CAF Champions League and 2019/2020 CAF Confederation Cup.
The 43-year-old ex-Chipolopolo and Zanaco midfielder is also the first coach to lead the Zambia Under -17 to a debut junior international title victory at the 2017 COSAFA U17 Cup in Mauritius and also had a brief stint as Zambia U20 boss in 2018.
But Numba is no stranger to the Chipolopolo backroom where he enjoyed a recurring role as an assistant coach under former coach Aggrey Chiyangi.
Club: Lusaka Dynamos
The air is swirling with the strong prospect of Wedson’s second coming after earlier serving in the post from October 2016 to June 2018.
Wedson is famed for initiating the onerous job of rebuilding Chipolopolo after the fading glory of the 2012 AFCON triumph with the likes of Brian Mwila, Justin Shonga, Augustine Mulenga, Fashion Sakala, Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu on the list of his ingredients.
The 55-year-old ex Zambia striker qualified Chipolopolo to the Morocco 2018 CHAN where he handed relatively unknown Lazarus Kabole his senior debut at the tournament.
But after a roaring group stage run with two wins and a draw in which they scored six and conceded two goals, Zambia made a disappointing CHAN quarterfinal exit after losing 1-0 to Sudan.
However, Wedson’s most famous act of all was Zambia’s first-ever competitive back-to-back victories over Algeria in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Chipolopolo came out of nowhere to even finish second in Group B on 8 points, one point ahead of Algeria and five points behind eventual winners Nigeria who were the only sides to beat Wedson both home and away on the road to Russia.
Strangely though, Wedson only oversaw one 2017 AFCON Group K qualifier fixture during his 26-game reign and that was Zambia’s opening game against Mozambique that Chipolopolo lost 1-0 at home in Ndola on June 10, 2017.
Wedson also has a solid international club repertoire that began in Mozambique at HCB Songo from 2013 to 2014 and later at Ferroviário Beira whom he led to the 2016 league.
The ex-Kaizer Chiefs striker also had an unsuccessful stint in the PSL at Baroka FC where he won the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup.
On the domestic front, Wedson led Zesco United to their debut league title in 2007 and retained it in 2008 before winning it for the third time on the trot in 2010 with Zanaco.
Chambeshi is not new to Chipolopolo and has handled two stop-gap assignments.
The 60-year-old first was the 2018 COSAFA Cup where he lost 4-2 in a thrilling final to Zimbabwe in Polokwane during a transitional period of Nyirenda’s departure.
Chambeshi returned in 2019 during the interim reign of Aggrey Chiyangi who had a full plate during a busy June schedule for Chipolopolo specifically with an auxiliary role to oversee three friendlies against Morocco, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire.
The ex-Zambia midfielder famously beat The Atlas Lions 3-2 in Casablanca but lost 2-1 with The Indomitable Lions in Madrid and 4-1 in their final game to the Elephants in Doha.
But Chambeshi acquired legendary status at junior level where he won the 2016 COSAFA U20 Cup with the team that he eventually guided to 2017 AFCON U20 victory as hosts.
Chambeshi later made a statement at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea where they reached the quarterfinals with his protégés Sakala, Mwepu and Daka during that famous junior reign.
At club level, Chambeshi has just completed a miracle job at record 13-time champions Nkana whom he saved from certain relegation when he took over in their remaining thirteen matches on April 22 in which he won six, drew three and lost four games.’
Chambeshi won two league titles as Nkana assistant coach in 1999 and 2001 plus a runners-up finish as head coach in 2018.
He is the first Nkana coach to reach the knockout stage in continental competition when the Kitwe giants qualified to the quarterfinals of the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup.
Chambeshi’s only Zambian league title as head coach came in 2011 with Power Dynamos.
But that was his second league championship medal as head coach after leading Botswana club Mochudi Centre Chiefs to their debut title in 2008.