Chris Kaunda has got his first big league appointment following the announcement by Zanaco that he will be their new head coach.
Kaunda takes over from Mumamba Numba who was sacked on January 6 a day after losing 3-1 away to Lusaka Dynamos to see Zanaco endure a nine-match winless run in all competitions.
His coaching career has been restricted to modest mid-table clubs that include City of Lusaka and enjoyed several spells at another Lusaka outfit, Nkwazi, over the last two decades.
Kaunda was unveiled on January 9 just a day after Zanaco lost their second successive league game following a 1-0 away loss at Kabwe Warriors under caretaker coach Robin Munsaka who reverts to his old position of team manager.
“Zanaco FC would like to announce the appointment of Chris Kaunda and Joel Bwalya as head and assistant coaches respectively until the end of the season,” Zanaco CEO Marlon Kananda said.
Kaunda returns to the bench two months after Nkwazi had fired him following his own nine-match poor start to the season in which period he managed only one win and four draws.
He jumps straight into the deep-end on January 12 when Zanaco host ESAE of Benin in a 2019/20 CAF Confederation Cup Group B match at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Zanaco are unbeaten in continental action this season but have yet to record a victory in Group B where they are third on 3 points from as many games played.
ESAE are last on 1 point, DRC Congo side DC Motema Pembe are third on 4 points while RSB Berkane lead on 7 points.
That match will also be Kaunda’s debut continental assignment as coach but has some international experience after guiding the Zambia Under-17 team to their first-ever U17 AFCON tournament in 2015 where they made a group stage exit in Niger.
He also came close to qualifying Nkwazi to a CAF Confederation Cup place last season but fell short on the final mile to finish third.
Kaunda takes over at Zanaco who are in the relegation zone at the midway point of the season.
Zanaco currently sit in the top part of the bottom four drop zone at number 15 on 13 points from as many games played with three matches in hand.
Meanwhile, Kaunda will jump straight into the fire on the domestic front three days after the CAF assignment when Zanaco host record 12-time league champions Nkana, who are fourth, in a rescheduled Week 8 league game.
By Kalumiana Kalumiana