The story of Thelma Phiri – A rising defender with heart and a big dream
The defensive kingpin who is a no-nonsense defender was born on 19th January 2002.
Thelma plays for FAZ Women’s League Copperbelt based side Indeni Roses and also for the Charles Haalubono coached Zambia Women’s Under-20 national team.
Phiri started playing football at the age of 9 and her first team was Olympic Flying Queens known by most as OYDC and she was with the team from 2011 up to 2017 before she was spotted by National Assembly Women’s Football Team in 2018.
She played for the Parliamentarians before making a move in August 2019 to join Copperbelt FAZ Women’s League defending Champions Indeni Roses were she’s currently playing.
Earlier in the week, the ZamFoot Crew caught up with the 2019 U-20 Women’s COSAFA silver medalist to talk about her football story this far.
Q) – To begin with, what inspired you to start playing football.
A) – Before I became a footballer, I used to think football was just for men. But later on, I came to realize that football is open to both men and women. And when I looked at the success achieved by some of the women who were playing for our National Team, I got inspired and it was at that point when I got interested in the sport.
Q) – Wow okay so inspiring indeed, well you have been playing football for the past 9 years what has been your memorable game.
A) – My memorable game was the semi-final match we played during the 2019 COSAFA Championship in South Africa against Zimbabwe which we won 1-0 because in that game I played so well and I was voted as the player of the match so I will always remember that moment.
Q) – Do you have any disappointing and painful match so far?
A) – Yes, the painful game was the final of the 2019 COSAFA where we played against Tanzania and we lost that game it really hurt us and that was a painful defeat.
Q) – By the way, do you have a Nickname they like calling you when you are on the pitch.
A) – Yes, they call me Casemiro named after Real Madrid defensive midfielder Carlos Henrique Casimiro because of what he can do and just like him I also have self-confidence.
Q) – Who are your favourite players at the moment either local or international and tell us the reasons.
A) – I like Crawford Mwaba, Maestro United and Zambia Under-20 player because he is a strong Defender who always makes it difficult for the opponents to penetrate his defensive system.
A) – I also like TP Mazembe and Zambia National Team Defender Kabaso Chongo because of his endurance levels, he is one kind of a player who never shows tiredness from the start until the end of the match.
Q) – What’s your dream team.
A) – I would love to join Barcelona who is the 2019/20 Spanish Feminine League Champions.
Q) – Kindly tell us your Top 5 best players.
A) – Ziyo Tembo(Zanaco, Zambia), Benson Sakala(Power Dynamos, Zambia), Rainford Kalaba(TP Mazembe, Congo DR), Charles Zulu(Zanaco, Zambia).
Q) – How much support do you receive from your family.
A) – I receive a lot of encouragements because almost everyone at home supports me.
Q) – Finally what’s your target in football.
A) – My target is to be a professional player and play abroad.
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