In the last three weeks the technical directorate has been on a cross-country tour conducting training courses for coaches and other technical experts in the game.
Chipolopolo goalkeeper coach Miroslav Stojnic has led the technical bench in conducting goalkeeping courses for all the Super League and National Division One teams in the country.
Head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has also been on the ground to just make sure everything is consistent with the football philosophy he is inculcating in his team.
The convergence points were Lusaka, Kabwe and Ndola with all the coaches from across the country shipped to the nearest centre for them.
Understandably Zambia has been flirting with a goalkeeping crisis as the country searches for a long term consistent shot-stopper.
Various active shot-stoppers have had their chances with little success prompting a more intense search not only for a long term Chipolopolo goalkeeper but having a reservoir of shot-stoppers across all age groups.
At each of the courses in Lusaka, Kabwe and Ndola there were three potential goalkeepers invited to attend the training.
Potentially Zambia has now three potential goalkeepers who have a chance to become dependable and consistent National Team divers.
Zambia last conducted a discernible goalkeeping course in 1998 which has overally left many things to chance.
We are very happy that the technical directorate has given this area attention and we are confident that with the work that is being put in place we will have a pool of goalkeepers that the country can draw from at various age groups.
It is not by accident that we have started with the coaches who are an integral part of football development.
Miroslav has also indicated that he will be working on a long term plan to have a goalkeeping academy that will pool together all promising goalkeepers that he will regularly train.
Miroslav’s credentials give us the confidence that Zambia can surely once again take the front seat on the continent.
He has left an indelible footprint in his native country Serbia where some of his protégés are top campaigners in the UEFA Champions League and other major world leagues.
As FAZ we are also looking to setting trends by having some of our people trained in video analysis.
The program has already taken off with the technical experts having conducted two courses while another one is currently going on in Lusaka and enters day two today.
When I talked about Zambia introducing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in our league, I was ridiculed by some sections of our football.
They were quick to scream about costs and the practicability of such technology in our situation.
However, they neglected to see that we already had a head start by having one of our referees Janny Sikazwe among the first whistle-men in the world to use VAR at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup.
Sikazwe was at the centre of the match between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers in Japan.
Sikazwe has gone on to referee at FIFA World Cup matches as we saw in Russia in 2018.
Zambia already has the advantage of having its league matches broadcast across the African continent through our partnership with SuperSport.
We can draw huge benefits from this partnership that could ensure that we experiment with this technology. So it can never be by accident that we are training several individuals in Video Analysis.
We will also make use of this expertise in ensuring that our game improves through the use of technological tools. On our part we are committed to using every tool to ensure that we develop our game.
All these programs fit into our 10-year strategic plan that is a guiding principle for everything that we do.
We also hope that going forward, we do away with the practice of criticizing anything that we do not understand. It is my prayer that we go into this brand new week with a positive mind. As always I wish everyone a productive week and observe all the guidelines as we continue to fight the covid-19.