By Sports Reporter
FANS have hailed interim national soccer team coach Wedson “Wada Wada” Nyirenda for summoning a strong squad to the Chipolopolo camp ahead of the Nigeria game in the World Cup qualifiers.
Nyirenda yesterday unveiled a 33-man provisional team ahead of the encounter with the Supper Eagles on October 9, with only nine professionals making the grade while a horde of local league players made the majority.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) chairman Yotam Mwanza said a mix of professionals and local players who were doing well in the domestic league was important as that was the only way Zambia’s dwindling fortunes would be revived.
Mwanza said the summoned players to camp had all what it took to play in the national team, adding that the move would pose stiff competition for the final list and in turn produce good results.
He said Zambia needed a strong squad that would not only foil Nigeria’s threat, when the two teams square it up, but one that would be a force to reckon with in other qualifying matches as the Chipolopolo were looking for a maiden World Cup berth.
He said Nyirenda’s faith in the young players in league would go a long way in moulding a strong team of players with character.
“This is a very good squad of talented players and this will afford other players who have never played for the national team to prove themselves by demonstrating why they should be in the national team,
“ This team will have a lot of competition for positions and this is healthy in football because only the best will make the final grade and this will translate into good performance,” said Mwanza.
Nyirenda has retained faith in internationals Kennedy Mweene, Kabaso Chongo, Stophilla Sunzu, Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala, Chisamba Lungu, Winston Kalengo, Lewis Macha, and Collins Mbesuma, while the rest are local players.
Goalkeepers:Jacob Banda (Zesco United), Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Racha Kola (Zanaco)
DEFENDERS:Lawrence Chungu, Billy Mutale (both Power Dynamos), Fackson Kapumbu, George Chilufya, Ziyo Tembo (all Zanaco), Simon Siliwmba (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Kabaso Chongo (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Stopilla Sunzu (Lille, France), Donashano Malama (Nkana)
MIDFIELDERS: Roderick Kabwe, Charles Zulu (Zanaco), Fwayo Tembo (Power Dynamos), Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala (both TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Cletus Chama, John Chingandu, Misheck Chaila, Mwape Mwelwa (all Zesco United), Jack Chirwa (Green Buffaloes), Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles), Chisamba Lungu (FC Ural, Russia)
STRIKERS: Justin Shonga (Nkwazi), Jackson Mwanza (Zesco United), Winston Kalengo (AC Leopards, Congo-Brazzaville), Lewis Macha (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Patson Daka (Power Dynamos), Collins Mbesuma (Highlands Park, South Africa)