One of the pre-tournament favourites for the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, have added an experienced striker to their squad as they look to go for gold in the prestigious regional tournament from December 7-16.
Zambia have included forward Patson Daka in their training squad after he returned home from Europe, where he had been attending trials in Austria.
He had trials at top side Red Bull Salzburg and even if nothing comes of those, it seems only a matter of time before the young rising stars is plying his trade on that continent.
Daka, 18, is already a veteran of a number of COSAFA competitions and represented Zambia at the senior COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia earlier this year.
He has also played for Zambia at the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda, as well as in a friendly with Ghana last year.
The teenager is among the leading scorers in this year’s Zambian Super League with 12 goals in all competitions, where he turns out for Power Dynamos, and will be among the star attractions at this year’s 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships.
He has represented Zambia at every age group level from Under-17 to Under-23, having been discovered as a competition to find new rising stars at the age of 13.
His coach at Dynamos, Danny Kabwe, has certainly been full of praise for his young charge.
“Terrific player; look at his speed, look at his jumps, look at his shots. I think we have a Malaza (Kelvin Mutale) or ‘Ucar’ Godfrey Chitalu in the making,” Kabwe told reporters earlier this month.
“All we need to do is just support him. Criticising a young player is not healthy.
“Look at him, he has a strong character, even after what he has gone through and is now standing up to be our local player top goal scorer in the country.”
His possible inclusion in the Zambia squad for the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships will certainly be a huge boost to national team coach Beston Chambeshi.
Zambia have been drawn in a tough Group B at the tournament along with Malawi and Zimbabwe. Only the top team in each pool advances to the semifinals.