Nkana Football Club on Tuesday afternoon confirmed the appointment of Ian Bakala as their new head coach replacing Beston Chambeshi who was sent on administrative leave last week.
Bakala was until yesterday head coach at Forest Rangers who he led to ABSA Cup triumph last season.
The former Kabwe Warriors man was quick to reveal that this was not Nkana’s first approach to him and that he believes in the plan for the club.
“This is the third time that Nkana is after me, it’s not the first time. The way they came to me, I think they have a good plan, I just had to accept,” he said.
“Forest Rangers and I think we have nothing bad to say and it is just a career in coaching it has to go up. Coaching a team like Nkana is not easy but I am just happy the Executive Committee has confidence in me. I have to do my part here.”
The record 13 time Zambia Super League Champions have lost their opening three games of the 2023/2024 season but Bakala believes they have a good team.
“I think Nkana have good players despite losing three games which happens in football sometimes. I have to forget about Forest and focus on my job here,” he said.
“I think they have a good side, they were only looking bad because they were losing. When I go on the ground I will be able to assess everyone. For me no names, whoever deserves will play, they will wake up, each player will want to show. Even youngsters will play.”
The move for Bakala to ditch Forest Rangers and join Nkana has caught many by surprise and there has been talk of it being the wrong move.
However, Bakala feels people will be surprised by his work at Nkana as he is confident in what he can do.
“For me as a coach I’m ready for anything. Some people may think it’s a big challenge, but I know my work , people will be surprised. I Am very strong, but the supporters will make me stronger, fans will always be there to cheer the team, even if they call me today to go and coach Manchester United, I would go,” he said.
“At the moment I will work with the players that are available because even the transfer window is closed.”
Bakala joined Forest Rangers in March last year replacing Tenant Chembo.
At Nkana, Bakala will be joined by Sipho Mumbi as assistant and Josphat Khoma as Physical trainer.
Bakala has penned a three year deal with Nkana and has been given a long term plan and short term target only being qualification for ABSA Cup.
George Chilufya will continue as assistant coach together with Mike Poto as goalkeeper trainer.