Newly appointed Zambia coach George Lwandamina says he is ready for the job at such short notice with just five days before the team’s’ opening 2017 Afcon Group E qualifier against Guinea Bissau.
Lwandamina was appointed Zambia coach on June 8 following the dismissal of Honour Janza on the same date after a protracted rift with the Football Association of Zambia over his future.
Janza was dismissed upon arrival in Lusaka from Addis Ababa on Monday just 24 hours after leading Zambia to a 1-0 away friendly win over hosts Ethiopia.
The Zesco coach, like Janza, has also been handed the job in an interim capacity.
“I will take it up with both hands and I know the challenges ahead and I would like to thank my predecessor who put the team in place,” Lwandamina said.
“My task I know is a huge one but it is lighter already because players are already there.”
Lwandamina returns for a second stint as Zambia coach after an unsuccessful two-match reign as interim trainer in 2010 when he failed to lead the team to the 2011 Chan tournament.
He also served as Zambia assistant coach under Herve Renard from 2008 to 2010 and led the Zambia Under-20 team to the 2007 Fifa under-20 World Cup in Canada where the team reached the last 16.
Some the players in that Under-20 team and now Zambia mainstays are defender Stopilla Sunzu including strikers Emmanuel Mayuka and Fwayo Tembo.
Midfielder Nathan Sinkala was part of his unsuccessful 2009 Cosafa Youth Championship team that made a group stage exit in Kimberley.
Lwandamina led the Zambia Under-20 to Cosafa victory in 2003 including two runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2006.
“It is a privilege that I know most of them. It is just that we have been away from each other for some time. I am sure they still remain the same players,” Lwandamina said.
Meanwhile, Lwandamina will remain as Zesco coach with whom he led to the 2014 league title in his first season in charge.
His previous clubs include Kabwe Warriors, Green Buffaloes, Nchanga Rangers where he was technical director from 2000 to 2001, and Mufulira Wanderers.