Phiri eyes Warriors job
Former Zambian national team coach, Patrick Phiri has given a hint that he is interested in taking over the Brave Warriors coaching job.
The Zambian is the Technical Advisor for the national team although he has never reported for duty in Namibian since being appointed a few months ago.
Phiri told The Villager told The Villager from his base in Tanzania where is currently coaching Simba Football Club that he is interested in the Brave Warriors top job if given the opportunity.
“It will be a good honour to coach the Brave Warriors side one day. You never know about the future. I will not want to comment further on it because it is only the Namibia Football Association (NFA) that will have the information on that. This is information that I cannot share with the press,” Phiri told The Villager Sport in a telephonic interview.
Phiri has so far led his club to two league titles in 2004 and 2009. He will only be expected to take up his duty with the Brave Warriors after the 2014/15 soccer season.
Like Namibia, the Tanzania football league has not yet started with its new campaign as it will only kick off this coming weekend.
“My contract extents up to 2015 and the league has not yet started. I am not thinking of Namibia now but Simpa. Again it will be unfair to talk about my coming to Namibia without the approval of the NFA because I will then go beyond the boundaries,” said Phiri.
The 58-year-old Phiri is an experienced coach with extensive knowledge of African football. He coached the Zambian nation team Chipolopolo twice, in 2002-2003 and in 2007-2008 when he took them to the 2008 AFCON finals in Ghana.
Phiri also coached the Zambian U20 team to its debut appearance at the 1999 FIFA U20 World Cup and also coached Green Buffaloes in the Zambian Premier League (ZPL).
With the Brave Warriors already dumped out of the race to the AFCON 2015 qualifiers at the hands of Congo, Brazzaville in the preliminary round, Phiri said the national team is still capable of qualifying to future international major events
“I have been following Namibian football since 1997 when I was coach of the Zambian u/20 side. Namibian football has improved over the years and has qualified to two AFCON events (1998 and 2008). The big problem is the lack of fitness with the players, something that we will need to work on. Football can only improve further if proper structures are in place in the developmental set up,” said Phiri.
Phiri said he is a big admirer of former Brave Warriors captain Henrico Botes who plays club football for the ABSA premiership side Bidvest Wits. Botes, he said, is a player he wants to work with one day.
Botes (34) is likely not to be around when Phiri takes over because age is not on his side and is also injury prone. Its due to his injury curse that he has missed a dozen games for the national team.
“I am a big fan of Botes because he is a marvellous player to watch. He is very strong and committed when on the field. You never know if he will be around once I am appointed,” said Phiri.
Meanwhile, Phiri stressed that he wants to see some Namibians plying their trade in other African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria for exposure.
“It will be a good idea if some Namibians players signed up with clubs up here because it is very competitive compare to our region. It will be a good beneficial for the national team.
Phiri led Zambia to two successes in 20www06, notably the COSAFA Cup and the East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) cup respectively.
Phiri led Zambia to a COSAFA Cup semi-final were they lost 1-0 to Malawi in Blantyre in 2002.
He also led the Zambian U-20 national team to its first ever appearance at the World Youth Cup in Nigeria in 1997 and was voted Zambian Coach of the year in 1999.
In his stints as Zambian coach between 2002 and 2008, Phiri in 15 games, he won 6, drew 6 and lost 3.
Since becoming a coach in 1986 where he began with his coaching career with Red Arrows in Zambia, Phiri won numerous accolades to his name, including cups and league titles.
Zambian Coach of the Year: 1999
Tanzanian Coach of the Year: 2009/10
Phiri won Zambian Premier League titles in 1999 and 2001 with Nkana and two league titles with Tanzania’s outfit Simba in 2005 and 2010.
Other success came in domestic cup competitions such as the Zambian cup, Charity Shield and two BP Top 8 cups (all with Nkana) in 2000 and 1998.
He also won the BP Top 8 in 1997 with Lusaka Dynamos.
Phiri also led Simba to the Tanzania’s Tusker Cup in 2005.