GREEN Eagles coach Justin Chinama is confident he has assembled a strong squad that will this time withstand the challenges of maintaining their Super Division status.
Chinama, who joined the club last year replacing Levy Chabala, who trekked to Kalulushi Modern Stars is already a darling of Eagles supporters, after guiding the team back to the elite league.
Eagles, won the 2013 Football Association of Zambia Division One (South) championship to bounce back to Super Division.
Eagles were joined on the journey to the Super Division by Nakambala Leopards.
“This time we want to do away with fighting relegation. We want to raise our level to that of challenging for the title, but of course not this season because our target is finishing among the top eight,” said Chinama, as he unveiled his plans for the 2014 season.
“It is looking good so far from pre-season training. We are a much better side. The quality of players we have is far much better than we had. What is encouraging is that we have retained the entire team that won promotion.”
The former Green Buffaloes mentor, who won the 2013 Zambia National Service (ZNS) coach-of-the-year award, feels his players have ambition to succeed.
“I feel the award will motivate me to do well this season. This is a young team. I will need to psyche them that they belong to Super Division. We have to work on their mindset. It is a different ball game in the Super Division.
“The team is disciplined. We need to improve to achieve our set target of remaining in the Super Division. Our sponsors ZNS are committed to ensuring the team performs well,” Chinama said.
He said the team will be ready for the 2014 Super Division kickoff this Saturday.
Chinama boosted that he has received a lot of enquiries from players, who want to join the Choma-based outfit.
“We are still looking for a striker to reinforce the frontline. It’s not that we are short in front but we just need depth if we are to mount a strong challenge to stay in the Super Division,” he said.
The squad that Chinama has assembled includes former Zambia midfielder Kebby Hachipuka, midfielder Kizito Cheelo, Spencer Sautu and defender Tindi Mwanza.
Cheelo a former under-20 international had a short stint at Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe in 2012.
Hachipuka was on loan at Power Dynamos, same with Mwanza and Sautu, who were loaned to Red Arrows and Forest Rangers, respectively.
Striker Aubrey Zulu, who was loaned to Zanaco last season, is reluctant to return to the club.
Eagles will hope last season club golden boot winner Adamson Mulawo, Chrispin Chongo, Paul Malamba and goalkeeper Sachimo Chakawa will replicate their performance.
Mulawo, Chongo, Malamba and Chakawa played a key role in the team’s return to the Super Division.
Alfred Mafuleka and White Phiri from Kalomo Jetters and Young Green Eagles respectively are the only players on assessment at the Choma-based club.
Name: Green Eagles Football Club
Home Ground: Independence Stadium, Choma
Chairman: Wynters Mwiinga
Coach: Justin Chinama
Assistants: Albert Mukuka, Hopson Kalengo
Goalkeeper trainer: Kelvin Mwaanga
Sponsors: Zambia National Service