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Zambia: Coach Renard Pleased With Chipolopolo Progress

Confederation of African Football (Giza)

3 January 2012

The Zambia football team coach Herve Renard seems happy with the way his side’s preparations for the 28th Orange Africa Cup of Nations finals are going at their training camp in South Africa.

So satisfied is the Frenchman that he was quoted by a Zambia newspaper saying “I feel Chipolopolo is now capable of winning AFCON matches. Everything is possible in football, yes we are not among the favourites but we can pull a surprise and win the cup. All we need is hard work and commitment,” said Renard

Renard believes the squad will be ready for CAN finals with the complete transformation of the team in their readiness expected between 14 and 20 January.

Meanwhile midfielder Rainford Kalaba believes the Orange CAN 2012 finals will have an added dimension to it after the likes of Egypt, Nigeria and Cameroon were knocked out leaving the 16 finalists keen to make the most of this situation. “We are in a tough group but with hard work, we can qualify for the next stage and the first game will determine how well we will perform. It is a tricky tournament because everyone expects us to win just because some big teams are not there but it will not be easy because all teams that have qualified have a point to prove,” said Kalaba.

There was good news too for the squad with announcement that the Israel-based duo of Roger Kola and Justin Zulu are expected in camp by January 7 to enable Renard assess them before announcing his final 23-man squad as expected on 10th January. On the 11th of January Zambia will play a practice match against South Africa as part of the preparations. The match was initially scheduled as a friendly but has been downgraded to a practise game.

The Chipolopolo squad leaves for the Orange CAN finals on January 18 and play their first group game against Senegal on 21st January in Bata. Zambia is Group A alongside co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Senegal.

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