New Chipolopolo assistant coach Irfan Kawri says he is honoured to be appointed to the Chipolopolo technical bench adding that it was his passion for Zambian football that led him to take the job.
“It is a great honour and privilege for me to be appointed assistant coach of the national team for the CHAN 2016. I would like to thank everyone at FAZ and Kalusha Bwalya for giving me this opportunity,” said Kawri.
Kawri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Bolton.
Additionally, he holds a Uefa B licence and recently did the preparatory course for the Uefa A licence.
He has previously worked as a youth coach for Wigan Athletic and most recently at Burton Albion Football Club under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink where he analysed and assessed the opposition teams before being given the position of youth team coach.
“My experiences are in coaching, teaching, scouting and opposition analysis. I am bringing different skills, knowledge and experience from these areas I have had working in English football and at the same time I will be learning from George and Chintu,” he said.
“I would like to make it very clear that I am coming to assist the head coach George and looking forward to working with him.
“We have been in regular contact and had good constructive conversations. I also have been speaking with Chintu on a daily basis. We are a team and all united for the same cause. We will be working together demonstrating synergy.”
He also stated that his passion for Zambian football was kept alive by his family members who told him numerous stories about late football commentator Dennis Liwewe and Kalusha Bwalya.
“I am very passionate about football in Zambia. As a kid growing up, my mum’s brothers and recently my father in law who grew up in Chipata have always told me stories about Zambian football. “I remember them telling me about the late Dennis Lawewe and they used to mimick his amazing commentary and telling me about the legend Kalu.’
“The sad news of 1993 when players lost their lives I still remember and also how good that squad was then the year later the team in 1994 received the BBC sports award which was an amazing achievement. The heroics of 2012 AFCON championships are well tabulated,” he said.
“When I came in 2000 with the U20 squad I felt the passion of the supporters and that has always stayed with me.”
Kawri confirmed that he had stayed in touch with Noah Chivuta, his teammate at the U20 national football team.
“I would also like to thank Noah Chivuta who has been in regular contact with me since the days we were in the under 20 squad together as we always find time to talk football.
“I also read some very positive words from my ex U20 national team coach Patrick Phiri which was very pleasing to read. Thank you Patrick.”
Kawri is expected to be unveiled to the media by December 31.