By CHINOYI CHIPULU
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) have appointed Croatian Aljosa Asanovic as the new national team coach, he has also penned a four-year deal.
The former Croatia international replaces Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic who was fired last year.
FAZ Executive Committee member Jordan Maliti said during the unveiling ceremony in Lusaka yesterday that the association believes they have landed a deserving candidate for the Chipolopolo job.
Maliti said Asavovic’s pedigree as a player and coach gives absolute confidence that he will take the national team to the next level.
“His experience at the Croatia National Team where he served as assistant and also having worked at various European clubs gives us confidence that he will help reboot our various national teams that he will oversee,” he said.
He said Asanovic will be expected to work closely with local coaches in ensuring that develop a strong national team comprising both local and foreign based players.
“We believe that his spell as Technical Advisor to the Zambia National Team in 2021 gives him insight into our game and will help him make the most of the talents of our players. We also believe that with the long-term goals that we have given him of giving our game clear direction he will be able to succeed,” he said.
Prior to been appointed as Chipolopolo Boys head coach, Asanovic was technical director to interim coach Beston Chambeshi.
He also served as national team assistant coach in Croatia from 2006-2012.
Though he has not coached in Africa, Asanovic has a rich CV having coached the Croatian national team.
He was assistant national team coach for the Under-21 national team in Croatia from 2004 -2006 working closely with world class talents like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitić, Darijo Srna and Mario Mandžukić among others.
“We are conscious that with qualifiers for the 2023 Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations looming, we must put everything in place to ensure that we are back among the elite of the African game,”Mr Maliti said.
Asanovic has also drilled Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia and Saudi Arabian side AL Ittihad Jeddah.