We have enough to dig for Gold – A synopsis of the Chipolopolo 2018 CHAN squad
With the Final 23 Man Squad for the CHAN Tournament announced, a few notable names failed to make the final squad whilst some did not even make the Provisional Squad. At this stage who didn’t make the squad or who shouldn’t have been in the final 23 is subject for another day, here I look at what Wedson’s Final Assembly represents and a glimpse in how far they should go in the tournament.
A few names that were not part of the qualifiers have been added to the squad which shows it has kept on evolving. Considering the length of his stay at the helm, Nyirenda is more certain on who can do the Job for him. The fact that new faces have come up also shows that there is Health Competition in the team for places.
The team has good composition to enable us play with different approaches should need arise with players that easily adjust. Adrian Chama, Donashona Malama, Godfrey Ngwenya and Mike Katiba are players that can play in more than one position and going into tournaments this becomes important due to injuries, fatigue and responding accordingly to what opponents on the day offer.
Loads of experience at this and even higher level of ‘A’ grade International Competitions. Seven of the players are full Zambia Internationals and played in the recent World Cup qualifiers as well as the on going AfCON 2019 qualifiers. Additionally, those from Zesco United and Zanaco have amassed considerable experience in CAF Club competitions and when the going gets tough they are the ‘go to’ individuals. In tournament football, experienced heads give the extra advantage.
Power & Athleticism
The team has forceful individuals able to cope on the toughest conditions. In the Group we will face the Pacey Uganda Cranes and we have enough to respond, The Power of the Ivorians we will cope with and the unpredictable Namibians we should be able to handle as our players are dynamic enough.
Additionally, a few other qualities such as Coordination will come to play as this team has played long enough together. The team also has a high work ethic and even more interesting is that the team has players of similar quality and hence stepping up from the bench shouldn’t really tone down the quality of the final product neither will the rhythm.
A few areas of concern may be that their is no striker who scored 15+ goals in a season that had 38 games and that we don’t have pure creators apart from Larry Bwalya and Godfrey Ngwenya who also need to add some weight. As work continues, these should be sorted out
Tournaments are first won by excellent defences and as long as a team doesn’t concede they have a chance of getting a goal and sail through. Positive response to pressure is key and we have the quality that should oblige. Clarity of thought and approach are crucial elements and this team seems to have got it right from what was seen in the qualifiers and their on going preps.
Going into the tournament, at the very least we should make the Semi Finals and have enough motivation to dig for gold..
Our Goal Keepers represent safe hands, the defense has composition of best Local League defenders who would break into any team, the midfield has steel, compactness, speed, brains and character while the front line has desire and hunger which are good catalysts for goals.
We have enough to go for it and shouldn’t settle for minor achievements.
GOALKEEPERS: Moses Mapulanga (Nkana FC), Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco FC), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos FC),
DEFENDERS: Solomon Sakala (Napsa Stars), Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (both Zesco United), Lawrence Chungu (Power Dynamos), Isaac Shamujompa (Buildcon), John Mwengani (Nkana), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes),
MIDFIELDERS: Donashano Malama (Nkana), Kondwani Mtonga, ( Zesco United), Larry Bwalya, Godfrey Ngwenya (both Power Dynamos), Augustine Mulenga, Ernest Mbewe (both Zanaco), Jack Chirwa, Mike Katiba (all Green Buffaloes),
Friday Samu (Green Buffaloes), Alex N’gonga (Power Dynamos) Martin Phiri (Zanaco), Lazarous Kambole (Zesco United), Chanda Mushili (Lumwana Radiants)
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