Zambia name final squad for COSAFA Under-20 Championships

Zambia coach Osward Mutapa has named his final list of 20 players to take part in the 2019 COSAFA Under-20 Championships but has resisted the urge to add too many names from his victorious Under-17 team that recently lifted the trophy in their age-group.

Zambia will host the regional showpiece tournament from December 4-14 and will be one of the favourites to lift the title they last won in 2016.

Mutapa led the Under-17 side to the silverware in Malawi in October and has offered on defender Vincent Chate the chance to take the step up.

The rest of the selection is largely made up of players who competed in the Under-20 Championship last year, such as forward Francisco Mwepu, who debuted in the tournament in 2017, and midfielder and captain Prince Mumba.

Zambia will challenge old foe Malawi, Comoros Islands and tricky Botswana in their Group A, with just the top team in each of the three pools and the best-placed runner-up advancing to the semifinals.

Zambia are the most successful nation in the COSAFA Under-20 Championship competition with 11 victories in all, their last win coming in South Africa in 2016.

Zambia were rampant as they stormed through that competition and inflicted a 2-1 defeat on their hosts in the decider.

They went on to claim the African Youth Championships title the following year, and also excelled at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

But the side disappointed in the COSAFA Under-20 Championship on home soil in 2017, bowing out in the first round after a defeat to East African guest nation Uganda was followed by a draw with Malawi and a win over Swaziland.

They made the semifinals in 2018, but lost 2-1 to Zimbabwe and missed out on a bronze medal with defeat by the same scoreline to Angola in the third-place play-off.

Zambia final squad:

Goalkeepers: Prince Bwalya, Flobby Mashakalati

Defenders: Crawford Mwaba, Golden Mafwenta, Vincent Chate, Justin Mwanza, John Chishimba, Issah Kazembe

Midfielders: Prince Mumba, Golden Yamikani Mashata, Chanda Mukuka, Patrick Gondwe, Elliot Kampukesa, Musonda Kalale, Thomas Zulu, Muma Mumba

Strikers: Francisco Mwepu, Jimmy Mukeya, Ricky Banda, Jonathan Munalula