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Football

Veteran coach Avram Grant opens up on Zambian expedition

CAF

The ex-Ghana trainer commended the exceptional playing surfaces in the West African country early this year, likening them to the essential foundation required for a dancer – a good floor. 

Reflecting on his experience at AFCON, Grant lauded the excellent condition of the pitches in Côte d’Ivoire, highlighting their contribution to enhancing the standard of play.

“The quality of the pitches is crucial,” Grant emphasized, stressing to FIFA.com the importance of providing players across Africa with top-notch playing surfaces.

“It is like a dancer – you need a good floor. And by the way, I was very impressed at the last AFCON in Côte d’Ivoire. The pitches were fantastic. If we can give players across Africa better pitches, it will help them improve.

In addition to pitch quality, Grant outlined two other key factors essential for the advancement of football in Africa.

He highlighted the importance of investing in the development of backroom staff, including analysis, medical, and scouting departments.

“The second one is the development of the backroom staff ­– the analysis, medical and scouting departments. This will help players maximise their potential. There has been progress, but I think it can be even better.”

“The third is education for the coaches, both in the main leagues and the coaches of the youth teams. If these three areas will improve, the sky is the limit in Africa,” Grant asserted.

By enhancing support systems behind the scenes, players can maximize their potential and performance on the field.

The former Chelsea manager also underscored the significance of education for coaches, both at the professional level and within youth teams, emphasizing the need for continuous learning and skill development.

“Education for coaches, alongside advancements in pitch quality and support infrastructure, holds the key to unlocking Africa’s footballing potential.”

The coach’s remarks come as Zambia aims to continue its upward trajectory in African football, with the coach eyeing a legacy of success for his team.

Grant’s tenure with Chipolopolo has already seen significant progress, marked by the team’s qualification for AFCON, a feat they achieved for the first time since 2015.

Despite exiting the tournament at the group stage, Zambia’s performances demonstrated promise and potential under Grant’s leadership.

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