By Jeff Kapembwa
Lusaka - The race for the vacant Chipolopolo coaching job has attracted renowned football trainers, estimated to be over 40, in the aftermath of the departure of Belgian born-trainer, Sven Vandenbroeck last February, informed sources close to the country’s football association told The Southern Times.
Notables among the highly acclaimed trainers clamouring to drill the 2012 African football champions include Serbian born Kosta Papic, who until recently was in charge of the eSwatini senior national football team.
During his stint in Eswatini, Papic proved to be a good coach when his charges gave Zambia a scare during the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers after the minnows drew with the former champions 2-2 at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka in their return leg qualifying in September.
“There has been growing interest among various coaches to take up the job and we have over 40 names that have applied and many of these have very credible credentials,” a source within FAZ said.
Other names that are seeking the job to drill the senior national side include Srdjan Zivojnov, Danish-born trainers, Flemming Serritslev and Jesper Fredberg, Romanians Valeria Tita and Gheorghe Cornea, Frenchman Lionel Soccoia, Marcello Troisi of Brazilian, and Graig Rosslee, from South Africa. The deadline for applications fell on 25 November.
Recently, the Football Association of Zambia had set its eyes on Vaselin Jelusic to take over the coaching role to replace Vandenbroeck who left last February after six months in charge. Jelusic, the Serb national, recently trained South Africa premiership side, Bloemfontein Celtic, before resigning following administrative differences with management.
Jelušic, after negotiating with FAZ for a US$25,000 a month package, could, however, not take up the role after Zambia’s sports minister sought for open interviews to create room for others to apply and be interviewed to allow transparency.
Jelušic was at the helm of the Angola national side in 1998 and later became coach of Botswana between 2002 and 2006. He was until last year coach of Bloemfontein Celtic before he resigned.
Others that were earlier shortlisted for the Chipolopolo job included Belgian coach Luc Eymael, French coach Pierre Lechantre, who won the 2000 African Cup of Nations with Cameroon, and Croatian trainer, Tomislav Ivković.