COSAFA U20: Zambia set semi-finals as target
Zambia U20 national team coach Charles Bwale has revealed that his team has set reaching the semi-finals as the target this year.
After a disappointing first round exit last December Bwale and his boys will be under pressure to deliver as the fans will be expecting much more.
“The last tournament was disappointing, but I firmly believe that this year will be different. 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,” Bwale said in an interview with Cosafa.
“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,” He added.
Bwale confirmed that his players are active and in good shape heading into this years tournament. He also reiterated that the objective is to expose the players and develop them for U23 level and Senior National Team.
“Most of the boys play in the first division, with some in the Premier League. So, they are active at the moment and in good shape, which will be a big plus going into the tournament,” he said.
“The objectives are to expose these players to international football and develop them for the next level, which is the Under-23s or the senior national side, whichever comes first. We want to see them play at a higher level and it is our job as coaches to help them get there, which is why the COSAFA tournaments are so important,” he added.
Bwale believes Zambia are in a fair group and he knows how two of his three opponents play their game.
“It is a fair draw, looking at the teams we will been playing against. Malawi and Mozambique have been our perennial opponents, so we know the kind of football they play. It does make it easier to plan against them, especially as, like us, many of their boys have come up from the Under-17 age-group,” He said.
Zambia were drawn in group A alongside Mozambique, Malawi and newcomers Reunion. The tournament will be held in Kitwe between 2-14th December.
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