COACH Patrick Phiri has hailed striker Given Singuluma’s improved performance at TP Mazembe saying he may just be the vital player that Zambia needs as she aims for a maiden World Cup appearance.
Zambia’s Singuluma put up an impressive show on Thursday night scoring a brace for TP Mazembe in a match against Bazano FC before Chipolopolo skipper Rainford Kalaba added a third goal.
In an interview yesterday, Phiri, the former national team trainer and current Nakambala Leopards coach said Singuluma has exhibited consistence in the past games at TP Mazembe, a sign that he was regaining his scoring prowess.
“I have always believed in Singuluma and what he is able to do. I am impressed with the level of consistence exhibited so far this season. A striker should always aim for his name on the score sheet. Whenever players perform well at their respective clubs, the national team always ticks,” he said.
He said Singuluma should work harder for him to book a place in the George Lwandamina tutored national team.
“I urge him not to lose focus. He falls among the current great strikers that the country has. Singuluma should embrace discipline and hard work to maintain his form. I am sure he will soon hit the national team,” he said.
Phiri has also praised Rainford Kalaba for being an instrumental player at TP Mazembe.
“It is not easy for a player to maintain consistence and Kalaba should be maintained. He is not just a shining star at TP Mazembe but also at national team level,” he said.
This was Singuluma’s second brace this season, having six goals in four matches this season.
Meanwhile South Africa’s PSL race for the Golden Boot is heating up with Mpumalanga Black Aces’ veteran forward, Collins Mbesuma still leading the race for this year’s Golden Boot while the chasing packs are doing their best to catch up.
Mbesuma, who turned 32 this week, is already in double figures in the Absa Premiership having scored 11 goals in 17 games, and is now just four goals short of becoming the third player to reach the 100-goal mark in South African football.
While ‘King David’ leads the way, Polokwane City’s Thobani Mncwango is on his heels with seven goals, with four players on six and six players having bagged five. If the Aces forward can keep up his fine form in the second half of the season then he should have no problem in securing the Lesley Manyathela Award, however there are certainly a number of players hoping that he hits a bit of a goal drought as they go in search of the title.
Of the current 12 top scorers in the Absa Premiership at present, Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town are the only sides to have two names there, while seven of the 12 are aged 28 or above.
Jomo Cosmos’ Charlton Mashuma (23) is the youngest player on 5+ goals at this stage of the season.