By Maimbo Mweemba
Green Buffaloes are on their way to Durban to compete in the 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier, full of confidence that they can bring home the trophy and book a ticket to the continental finals in Egypt.
The side are in Group B along with Zimbabwe’s Black Rhinos Queens and TURA Magic from Namibia, with the top two teams advancing to the semifinals.
Buffaloes open their campaign against Queens on Friday and with a number of players who competed at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, are full of confidence.
“We have prepared well,” forward Maylan Mulenga says. “We want to achieve many things, and for me personally my aim is to be the best player at the tournament, or to score the best goal.
“Our aim should be to reach the final. The tournament will be different [from past COSAFA events she has been at with the national team]. This is the club level and we need to put in extra effort.”
She says getting off to a good start will set the tone for their whole campaign.
“When we play the first game, it will determine how far we will go in the tournament. We need to win.”
Fellow national teammate Ireen Lungu concurs and says they have an eye on a ticket to Egypt for the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League later in the year.
“The preparations has been going well so far, we cannot complain,” midfielder Lungu says. “We want to come out first and see ourselves playing in the [CAF] Champions League in Egypt. That is our aim.
“The exposure and experience we have is OK coming out from the Olympics. But we can’t underestimate any team, we just have to play our game and be focused.”
Defender Agness Musase says the team is ready to fight for the whole of Zambia and hopes supporters across club lines will back Buffaloes.
“We are going to fight and conquer the tournament,” Musase says. “As a team the morale is very high in the camp, with it being the first time to go and participate there and represent the whole nation of Zambia, we just need to ask the entire country to support us.
“It doesn’t matter if it is the first time, our goal is to win and take home the cup. Each team has been preparing, we just have to go there and do our level best. We must get three points from the first game.”
Cosafa – Council of Southern Africa Football Associations