U-23 preps hit high gear

 U-23 preps hit high gear

The Zambia Under-23 National Team have continued shaping up for the March 20 Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations that will serve as an Olympic qualifying tournament.

Assistant coach Bilton Musonda and Tenant Chilumba took 21 players through the paces.

FAZ has opened early preparations for the U23 with the plan to help Zambia return to the Olympics where they last participated in 1988.

The Beston Chambeshi headed technical bench has a blend of 2017 Under-20 Africa Cup winning stars and promising talents from the Under-20 fold.

From the 2017 Under-20 class, Crispin Sakulanda and Mangani Banda were part of the training while Lameck Banda, Klings Kangwa, Prince Mumba, Benson Kolala have been roped from the under-20 set up.

The rest of the players have been picked from their standout performances in the local league.

Foreign based players will only join at a later stage with the likes of Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepu, Edward Chilufya, Emmanuel Banda and Justin Shinga on Chambeshi’s radar.
Zambia will be away to Malawi on March 20 before hosting the junior flames four days later.

Winner of the Zambia and Malawi game will move into the final qualifying round next June to face either Congo Brazzaville or Burundi to decide who qualifies to the Egypt finals.

The 2019 AFCON will be used as a qualifier for the Japan 2020 Olympic Games.

Top three finishers at the Egypt finals will qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Zambia last participated at the Olympic Games in 1988 where they famously reached the quarterfinals.

This is the second week the team has been in camp with only breaks to accommodate weekend league matches.

Full Team

(Golakeepers)
Mangani Banda (Zanaco), Jackson Kakunta (Power Dynamos), Charles Muntanga (Nkwazi), Tyton Zulu (MUZA)

(Defenders)
Moses Nyondo (Nkana), Prosper Chiluya (Nkwazi), Solomon Sakala, Shemmy Mayembe (both Zesco), Sydney Phiri (Gomes), Paul Banda (Lusaka Dynamos), Luke Banda (Napsa Stars), Kebson Kamanga (Nkwazi), Dominic Chanda (Circuit City)

(Midfielders)
Boyd Musonda (Zanaco), Harrison Chisala (Nkana), Linos Makwaza jr (Power Dynamos), Satty Phiri (Circuit City), Musonda Siame (Lumwana), Lameck Banda, Edward Tembo (Zesco United), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Austin Banda (Napsa Stars), Chrispin Sakulanda (Red Arrows)

(Strikers)
Happy Nsofwa (Lumwana), Joseph Phiri (Red Arrows), Stephen Banda (MUZA Academy), Davy Daka (Power Dynamos), Theophilus Kasonde (Paramilitary), Bwalya Chella (Young Buffaloes), Benson Kolala (Nhanga Rangers)/FAZ.

The Independent Observer

https://tiozambia.com

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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