New look Zambia U20 National team more of a developmental squad than anything else
On 6th December a new look Zambia U20 National team will take to the pitch in a bid to defend the Cosafa title won by their predecessors in South Africa last year. The group of players assembled by Numba Mumamba, Majority of them are from the U17 Cosafa winning squad which makes it more of a developmental squad than anything else.
Well as much as they will sell this theory of building, the general public of football mad Zambians will not accept failure to defend a title on home soil, Which am pretty sure Numba and his technical bench are quite aware of.
The last U20 squad which was coached by now U23 coach Beston Chambeshi was assembled for trophies, How so?, Well for example the team had atleast three players who had received senior national team call ups before And not just that but featured in actual competitive games.
Patson Daka spent the entire 2015 moving from one national team camp to the next participating in all the national teams at all levels . Conlyde Luchanga introduced himself as a 17 year old in 2015 scoring the winning goal for the national team against Mozambique on his debut.
On the experience front the last team had it covered. The players, Most of them played in the first team at their respective clubs. Patson Daka was Power Dynamos top goalscorer with 12 goals but for this team their Key player Lameck Banda has three league goals, Impressive for his never the less and looking at the opposition he scored those goals against.
The coaches themselves have admitted that they are looking at building And continuity, Not necessarily winning the trophy. Assitant coach Charles Bwale yesterday after the teams three nil win over Lusaka select said the boys are a different crop of young players who hee belived will do fine.
” The one’s that won the tournament, The likes of Patson and the others are gone and this is a new team, The u17 boys that we took to Mauritius which we upgraded and we are building. We are at home so we will not be scared of anyone . Am sure we will do fine,” he said.
Having watched the three friendly matches the team has played I can deduce that, The team is not as competitive as the last one. Yesterday for instance the team missed Martin Njobvu, Lameck Banda and Prince Mumba and the gap was vividly clear.
Clinton Lubala was the master creator running the show today, But even he seemed incomplete without the missing three players. As for Players brought in today for the friendly match, Chanda Mukuka the brace hero seemed to have something to offer together with Harry Milanzi jr but it all seemed like they lacked something.
As a developmental squad the team has some fine talents which will soon be competing with the likes of Mwepu for places at the national team but as for winning the tournament, Well they have a big way to go but the potential is their hence we can forgive them should the worst happen and we fail to defend our birth right trophy.
Matches will be played at the Arthur Davies and Nkana stadiums in Kitwe. Zambia and Angola will be in action on the opening day against Uganda and Namibia respectively.
The group stage will be completed on December 12, followed by a rest day, with the semifinals to be staged at the Arthur Davies Stadium on December 14.
The third-place play-off and the final will move to the Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola on December 16.
2017 COSAFA UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS GROUPS
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