No player is guaranteed place in squad – Patrice Beaumelle

Patrice Beaumelle
Patrice Beaumelle

ZAMBIA coach, Patrice Beaumelle says there will be no guaranteed places in his Chipolopolo squad for any footballer and has advised his star players to immediately start proving their worth at club level.
In his strongest statement yet since being elevated to head coach, Beaumelle said the national team was no place for players who were not performing as his interest was to build a strong squad.
His far reaching warning did not spare Chipolopolo captain, Christopher Katongo, who he advised to get into club action, even if it means that he signs for Zambia Army side Green Buffaloes, where he is keeping fit.
“I’ll be giving no gifts to anyone. I respect every single player. One can be my friend outside but on the pitch he has to perform, I want them to work hard, believe and prove they can put one foot in the Chipolopolo.
“I am asking them to perform because I am here to work and I want a strong Chipolopolo starting line-up and bench. That is the message I want all to know, there will be no gifts to anyone,” he said.
Beaumelle said good performance at the national team level comes with playing competitive football regularly at club level and that was why he wanted all his Chipolopolo players not just to be at clubs but play competitively regularly.
He gave an example of now Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mukuka Mulenga whom he said could be a good player but if not featuring at club level for whatever reason, risks not getting a place in his team.
“That is why I said to Chris (Katongo) yesterday when I was with him at training with Green Buffaloes that if he doesn’t find a team soon, he should sign even in Zambia and play regular competitive football,” the Frenchman said.
Beaumelle also said the development of a strong senior national team was a job started in 2008 with his predecessor, Hervé Renard, and that he would not give up on it now.
He said qualifying to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) would not be easy as all countries were preparing strongly and therefore, the need to have players competing regularly could not be overemphasised.
And Beaumelle has joined the Zambia senior women national team bench to help in fine-tuning players for the key Africa Cup qualifier against Tanzania in Lusaka.
During yesterday’s training session, Beaumelle assembled a horde of national team coaches who include Charles Bwale (women Under-20), Albert Kachinga (women senior and Under-17), Chris Kaunda (boys’ under-17), FAZ technical director Honour Janza and other coaches.
“Today, we were taking them through an aerobics training to check their fitness and also did a beep-test. This required that every three players had someone to monitor that they do the test correctly. So that’s why we had all of them here.
“Besides, we are one family and we need to understand each other well and we continue speaking one language,” he said.
Bwale hailed Australia-based Zambian female player, Carol Howes, who joined the team preparing for the game against Tanzania, saying she was a good player.
“My first impressions about her are good. She looks like a good player. The only shame is that she has picked a knock on her ankle and sat out of parts of training. It’s minor though and we expect her back this week,” he said of  the Balcatta SC player.