Zambia’s 2014 top 6 news makers

George Lwandamina
George Lwandamina

The 2014 Zambia season starts on February 1 with the Charity Shield and we profiles this year’s top six news makers on the home-front.

6-Mathews Nkowani: The talented midfielder shot to fame in the second half of the 2013 season after joining Power Dynamos on loan from Napsa Stars.
Nkowani’s technical prowess and his potential has raised similarities with those of another ex-Power star Isaac Chansa.
However, his gamble to leave the comfort zone at Power where he commanded a first team place and sail into the eye of the storm at Zesco United is very interesting especially that he is expected to battle for a position there with fellow newcomer Justin Zulu and the established Kondwani Mtonga.

5-Evans Kangwa: Nkana’s prodigal striker has returned to Kitwe after flirting with a move to Zanaco in the January pre-season.

Kangwa has not played competitive club football since the 2012 season due to contractual issues with Nkana last year and 2014 will mark the re-launch of his career after a 12-month exile.
However, it will be interesting to see how motivated he will be with the reality now setting in that he is ineligible to play for Nkana in the pre-group stage phase of the 2014 CAF Champions League, a big lure for any player joining an incumbent champion.

4-George Lwandamina: The ex-Red Arrows coach has been handed back the reins of the Zambia Under-20 national team following Young Chipolopolo’s Zambia’s shambolic 2013 Cosafa Youth Championship exit in December.
His mandate is to steer Zambia to the 2015 African Youth Championship finals for the first time since 2007 that was achieved on his watch and that culminated in qualification to the FIFA U20 World Cup in Canada that same year where he guided the team to the last 16.

3-Tennant Chilumba: Chilumba defied the skeptics following his appointment as Power Dynamos coach in June, 2013 to save the Kitwe side from the jaws of relegation in the second half of the season on their way to finishing eighth.
He begins the season in the final phase of his one year deal that expires in June as the six-time champions try to put behind them a forgettable 2013.

2-Reynold Kampamba:
 Zambia’s most prolific striker over the last 24 months after scoring 15 and 18 goals in 2012 and 2013 respectively faces a make-or-break year in which the 22-year-old will either lead Nkana to back-to-back titles or finally get his big break with a move abroad.

1-Patrice Beaumelle:
  The new French revolution starts proper this year under Beaumelle following his appointment as Zambia coach in October after replacing his mentor Herve Renard.
The nine month countdown has begun for Beaumelle as he tries to confound his doubters and plots for the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup qualifiers when Zambia enters the fray at the group stage in September.