Grant aims to move beyond paper evaluations in AfCON prep

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DEPARTING from traditional target-setting, Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant has underscored the need to move beyond mere evaluations on paper but instead stressed the importance of understanding the team’s strengths and weaknesses.

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As the National team gears up for the 2024 Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations in the next 15 days, Grant emphasized that he has set no specific targets for competition as his primary focus is on enhancing the skills of each team member.

Grant conveyed this message at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka yesterday following the initial regrouped training session in preparation for the continental showpiece.

He acknowledged that Zambia may not currently lead African football discussions but emphasised his commitment to ensuring the fitness of the players without predefined targets.

“You know I don’t like to set targets. We are sportsmen in Africa, and there are a few teams better than us on paper. Ivory Coast was also considered better than us, but we want to move beyond paper evaluations. We need to be realistic and identify our strengths and weaknesses as a team,” said Grant.

Regarding the upcoming friendly games in Saudi Arabia, Grant stated they would be used to assess players and evaluate their fitness.

He said the provisional squad would be given equal opportunities to prove themselves and secure a spot in the final team.

“At the moment, we are not at the top, but we are actively addressing issues on and off the pitch to improve. We are focused on strengthening the team, identifying gaps, and pulling together as individuals and as a collective unit,” added Grant.

The technical bench aims to not only address weaknesses but also enhance the team’s overall strength as they set ambitious goals for each game.

By Buumba Mwitumwa

Kalemba, December 29, 2023

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