Blossoming defender Precious Sambani and promising forward Peter Banda will not be offered deals by Belgian top-flight league champions Club Brugge.
The teenage sensations were expected to return home on Monday to join the Flames as they step up preparations for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco’s Atlas Lions in Casablanca.
Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) told The Nation on Monday that “although they did well, there were some technical hitches along the way”.
Said RVG: “I have been told that they did very well, but Precious got injured during the last five days of the trials while Peter is not yet 18.
“However, they asked me if possible to make a follow-up and arrange further trials between October and November [this year].”
He also said the Club Brugge evaluated the two players on some technical aspects.
“They made recommendations on certain aspects that are supposed to be worked on and the players were also told.
“I will be sharing that with those responsible for players’ development locally,” he said.
Sambani and Banda could not be reached for comment as they were still in transit, but former Flames midfield stalwart ‘Senator’ Kennedy Malunga, who had a stint with the Belgian top league at Cercle Brugge, said the two youngsters need to be encouraged.
“From what I hear these are just youngsters trying to make a breakthrough and obviously it was not going to be easy for them to make it in a top European league because it is too physical and tactical, especially at a big team like Club Brugge.
“But they need to be encouraged and the coaches should work on helping them to improve on their weak areas so that hopefully, when they go there again, they will make it,” said Malunga who played for Cercle Brugge between 1987 and 1989.
He was also among the five nominees for Africa Footballer of the year in 1987.