Zambia have been showing ominous signs ahead of their participation in the COSAFA Under-17 Championships with a series of warm-ups to get the team into shape for the competition that starts on Friday. The Young Chipolopolo will be among the favourites at the tournament in Mauritius, and they have shown some excellent form in the build-up.
Last week they defeated Blue Bullets from the Mutendere Township 40 thanks to goals from Jonathan Kapelembe, Dennis Phiri, Enock Musonda and Michael Kafusha.
And they followed that up with a narrow 2-0 loss to top Zambian Premier League side Zanaco, who only scored their goals late in the game.
“I think looking at the period we have been with these guys, I think we have seen some tremendous progress especially on the aspect of physical conditioning and technique there is some good direction,” assistant coach Charles Bwale told FAZFootball.com.
Meanwhile, the Zambia squad for the competition was announced on Monday, with the cream of the country’s young crop all present.
The team underwent MRI tests over the weekend with the technical bench picking their final squad thereafter, to ensure there is no repeat of the unfortunate disqualification last year.
Zambia have a tough pool at the COSAFA Under-17 Championships having been drawn in Group B alongside last year’s beaten finalists South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Group A at the championships includes hosts Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi.
Zambia open their campaign against Madagascar at the Stade St Francois Xavier in Port Louis on Friday.
Goalkeepers: Emmanuel Mphasi (Chizongwe Technical School), Bruce Kayuni (Bauleni United).
Defenders: Reuben Kailo (Choma Secondary School), Christopher Katongo (Kasama Boys), Michael Mumba (Young Napsa), Kingsley Hakwiya (Kansenshi High), Victor Kasokolo (Mitondo), Jonathan Kapelembe (Romeki Football Club), Andrew Phiri (Morning Stars Academy)
Midfielders: Michael Kafusha (Milungu Day Secondary), Clinton Lubula (Kabwata Dynamos), Lameck Banda (Nkwazi) Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Muma Mumba (Maamba High), John Mulalangabo (Kasama Boys), Niza Simutenda (Mpande Youth Academy), Jimmy Hamanzuka (National Assembly),
Forwards: Martin Njobvu (Nchanga Rangers), Christopher Phiri (Morning Stars Academy), Moses Mwanza (Bauleni United Academy)