Zambia hope to flex muscles in CAF African Schools Football Championship

Zambia have long been a power in the Southern African region at all levels and will be looking to cement that status when they debut in the CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023 from December 14-16.

Zambia did not have entrants into the inaugural event in Lilongwe, Malawi in 2022, but will have teams in the Boys’ and Girls’ competition this time round, and given the country’s football pedigree, are expected to be challengers.

Zambia have been regular winners at all age group levels in COSAFA competitions and have excelled in both the male and female game.

They have selected squads for this Under-15 competition from the best of their talent from around the country that was on display in the national finals.

The boys’ side will be coached by Aaron Kawangu, who is leading the national Under-15 team, and the girls will have Grace Mwango in charge. She has been a long-time coach at local side Elite Ladies.

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) understands what an excellent steppingstone this competition – and the Under-15 age-group – is to international football for these players.

“This competition is important to us because it will inspire and encourage our school going kids to participate more in schools sporting activities,” FAZ said in a statement. “Sports helps to build good, strong characters and discipline in athletes.

“We hope this competition teaches our kids self-respect, confidence, hard work, discipline, unity and the importance of teamwork.”

Zambia are three-time winners of the COSAFA Under-17 Championship, and are current holders, and have won the U20 title on a record 12 occasions and the senior men’s championship a record seven times.

They have also won the Women’s Under-17 Championship in 2021 and lifted the senior women’s title in 2022.

The draw for the 10-team CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will be made in Harare ahead of the tournament.