Zambia coach Charles Bwale has named his final squad for the 2018 MOPANI Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships, including three overseas-based players.
The tournament gets under way on Sunday with Zambia in action on the opening day when they take on Central African guest nation DR Congo at the Nkana Stadium.
The Young Chipolopolo are hoping to banish the memory of a disappointing campaign in 2017 when they exited in the first round on home soil, despite entertain the tournament as holders and among the favourites.
That was with a young squad though and Bwale is hoping that, a year older and wiser, the squad will perform better. Included are the foreign-based trio of midfielder Edward Chilufya (Djurgardens IF, Sweden), forward Mwiya Malumo (Vulcan FC, England) and goalkeeper Bradley Mweene (University of Pretoria, South Africa).
Bwale has previously told COSAFA.com that he is aiming for the semi-finals first before thinking about lifting the title.
“The last tournament was disappointing, but I firmly believe that this year will be different,” Bwale says. “We will keep many of the guys who competed then and most of them are heading in the right direction in terms of their development.
“You could say that they are three-quarters of the way to where they need to be and this tournament will be another big step forward for them.
“But we cannot get ahead of ourselves, based on last year we need to target reaching the semifinals first before we think about lifting the cup. It will be one step at a time.”
After their clash against DR Congo, Zambia will take on Malawi on December 6 and Mozambique two days later.
Zambia final squad:
Goalkeepers: Prince Bwalya (Green Buffaloes), Bradley Mweene (University of Pretoria)
Defenders: Kingsley Hakwiya (Dream Factory), Christopher Katongo (Kasama United Youth Academy), Andrew Phiri (Kafue Celtics), Gideon Miyanda (Lusaka Youth)
Midfielders: Benson Kolala (Nchanga Rangers), Kings Kangwa (Happy Hearts), Thomas Zulu (Kafue Celtics), Chanda Mukuka (Gomes), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Oliver Lumbiya (Young Nkana), Patrick Gondwe (Young Nkana), Albert Kangwanda (Kafue Celtics), Lameck Banda (Zesco United) Golden Mashata (Happy Hearts) Edward Chilufya (Djurgardens IF)
Forwards: James Chilimina (Kafue Celtics), Mwiya Malumo (Vulcan FC), Emmanuel Mwiinde (Young Green Buffaloes)