Red Arrows and ex-Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza is proud that his former team Zesco United has become a force both in Zambia and Africa during the 13 years they have spent back in top-flight football.
Janza led Zesco back to top flight football in 2004 after spending over 16 years away campaigning in Division 1 North.
Since then, Zesco has won five league titles and this season is on the verge of joining Power Dynamos and Green Buffaloes on six triumphs.
Zesco, who are also the record winners of the Barclays Cup with five titles, were the first Zambian team to reach the group stage in CAF club cup and only local club to so far advance the knockout stages in both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.
On Thursday, Janza hurt his former teams title race when Arrows held the leaders to 0-0 away draw in Ndola to see Zesco’s lead cut from five to three points with two games left before the season ends.
“It is unfortunate that sometimes you have to be loyal to your employers of the day. Zesco is my childhood team, I played here, I was top scorer here as a player and helped them to promotion. I later came back after my retirement as a coach and worked with them and helped them qualify to the Super League again,” Janza recalled.
“Seeing them stay in the Super League from the time I brought them, gives me a lot of happiness. It was a difficult game for me because, if you cut me, you will see my blood is Zesco and you will find that it was quite a challenge for me to face them.”
Janza said he counselled Zesco to prepare adequately for international duty.
“But I have talked to them, I have encouraged them that this was just a training game for you to gear you for continental football and don’t look backwards, you are still on the right track to win the league. They have the capacity to win the league this was just a test game for them,” said Janza.
“I wish them well to keep flying high and it was under me that the philosophy and mission statement that they should be one of the best teams in Africa. And when I see that they are now one of the best teams in Africa it gives me a lot of delight that they have kept to that mission statement. I will keep supporting them but sadly I will keep my loyalties to where my salary comes from.”
Meanwhile, Zesco face Green Eagles away in Choma this Sunday hoping to return to winning ways that will keep them firmly at the top heading into next weekend final game at home against Mufulira Wanderers.