Kalaba and Sunzu are on a three-man shortlist for the 2012 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player-of-the-Year Award. Egypt’s Mohamed Aboutreika is the other finalist.
The Zambians turn out for Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo DR) TP Mazembe. Aboutreika plays for Ahly in Egypt.
Afrisport director Gabriel Kaunda said in Lusaka yesterday that it is gratifying that players who began their career at the club are in contention for the top award.
“We are proud to have contributed two players to Zambian football and are today on the shortlist of the top footballing award,” Kaunda said.
Another prominent Zambian player groomed at the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Division side in Kitwe is striker Jacob Mulenga who now plays for Dutch side FC Utrecht.
Kalaba and Sunzu started their football career at Afrisport’s Mapila Ground in Kitwe before their career blossomed.
Sunzu , 23, later moved to Konkola Blades in Chililabombwe, then had a loan stint at LB Chatearoux in France before he signed for Mazembe.
Kalaba went on to play for OGC Nice in France, switched to Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga and was loaned to Gil Vicente in Portugal and Zesco United locally.
After a failed move to Zamalek in Egypt at the end of the 2010 Africa Cup in Angola, Mazembe snapped up the Zambian midfielder.
“It is something we are grateful about as a club because we have played a part in their football careers,” Kaunda said.
“We are proud we are helping move Zambian football to another level.”
Kaunda also said he would like to see the 2012 Africa Cup winning duo move to Europe because they have grown and matured to march any challenge at the highest level of football.
He said a move to Europe would see the players further improve on the respective careers.
The winner of the Africa Player-of-the-Year award will be announced on December 20 in Ghana.