Football Sport

Junior Chipolopolo players dream African title

DIANA CHIPEPO, Lusaka
AS the 2017 Africa Youth Championship draws closer , under-20 national team players have set the bar high.
While their primary aim is to qualify to the South Korea World Youth Championship finals, the players have dared to defy odds and win the continental competition.
All the players are confident the title will remain in Zambia come March 12.
The tournament is set to kick off on Sunday and will be played in two cities – Lusaka and Ndola.
A total of eight teams, including Zambia, who qualified by virtue of being hosts, will compete in the two-week competition.
The tournament has been divided with Zambia drawn in Group A alongside Egypt, Guinea and Mali while Group B comprises South Africa, Sudan, Cameroon and Senegal.
Fact files:
His last game with a local club was the CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg in Rwanda. Fashion Sakala was one of Zanaco’s key players but like every player’s dream, he has signed a professional contract with Russian side Spartak Moscow where he will be heading after the youth tournament.
Name: Fashion Sakala
Date of Birth: March 14, 1997
Position: striker
Current club: Spartak Moscow FC, Russia
Former clubs: Zanaco, Nchanga Rangers
Caps: 5
Pa t son Daka needs no introduction to Zambian football at all levels. He is one of the few players who have passed the progressive stages and a product of the Airtel Rising Stars project. Despite still being a junior player, Patson has featured in all national teams starting from the under-17 through to the senior team. He is one of the junior players who consistently command a position in the senior team.
Name: Patson Daka Jnr
Date of Birth: October 9, 1998
Position: Striker
Current club: Liefering FC, Austria
Former clubs: Kafue Celtic, Nchanga Rangers, Power Dynamos
The Spain-based midfielder boasts of skill that he has acquired from different countries through his participation in both football clinics and professional stints.
Name: Mumba Mwape
Date of Birth: April 26, 1998
Position: Midfielder
Current club: Getafe, Spain
Former clubs: University of Pretoria, South Africa
Caps: 2
Another foreign-based player coach Beston Chambeshi is relying on for the continental victory is Kenneth Kalunga.
He has equally acquired the needed international skill from Europe through his stints with various football academies.
Name: Kenneth Kalunga
Date of Birth: January 18, 1997
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Ikast FS, Denmark
Former Clubs: Gomes FC
Caps: 6
Conlyde Luchanga is one of the most experienced players in the team. His stint at the senior level gives him an edge over his junior colleagues, some of whom even look up to him for inspiration.
Name: Conlyde Luchanga
Date of Birth: March 11, 1997
Position: Striker
Current Club: Hapoel Ranaana, Israel
Former clubs: Lusaka Dynamos, Power Dynamos
Caps: 12
He is the son of former Chipolopolo goalkeeping legend, James Phiri senior. James junior is slowly taking his late father’s footsteps. His agility in goal has earned him a place in Chambeshi’s final squad.
Name: James Phiri
Date of Birth: July 9, 1997
Position: Goalkeeper
Current Club: Circuit City
Caps: 1
The defender cum midfielder has had a stint with Spanish side Mondo Sinyole and believes he is well equipped to make an impact in the under-20 squad.
Name: Edward Tembo
Date of Birth: March 26, 1997
Position: Defender
Current Club: Gomes FC
Former Clubs: Lusaka Youth Soccer Academy, City of Lusaka, Kalulushi Modern Stars, Mondo Sinyole-Spain
Caps: 1
Despite being one of the new players in the under-20 squad, Edward Chilufya has proved his worth and fought for his position. He was one of the players that won the COSAFA youth title in South Africa.
Name: Edward Chilufya
Date of Birth: September 17, 1999
Position: Striker
Current Club: Mpande Youth Soccer Academy
Caps: 1
He is not only a household name in the under-20 squad but the league as well. Enock Mwepu is a versatile midfielder whose competence is more on the attacking than the defensive side.
Name: Enock Mwepu
Date of Birth: January 1, 1998
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Napsa FC
Former Clubs: Power Dynamos, Kafue Celtic
Caps: over 15
Emmanuel Banda is one of the five foreign-based players in the team. The Portugal-based 19-year old is one of the most versatile players on the pitch gifted with the ability to dribble and score.
Name: Emmanuel Banda
Date of Birth: September 29, 1997
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Esmoriz- Portugal
Former Club: Nchanga Rangers
Caps: 3
He is one of the most experienced players in the team. The Kabwe Warriors defender has been one of the consistent member of the under-20 squad and was also part of the 2016 Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) youth winning team in South Africa in December last year.
Name: Solomon Sakala
Date of Birth: April 20, 1997
Position: Defender
Current Club: Kabwe Warriors
Caps: 15
H i s a g i l i t y i n g o a l i s unquestionable. That is why he graduated from the Zesco United feeder team, Malaiti Rangers to the main team, although he has faces stiff competition at the under-20 national team.
He has to cope with Zanaco’s Mangani Phiri and James Phiri junior for a first team position.
Name: Samson Banda
Date of Birth: May 1, 1997
Position: Goalkeeper
Current Club: Zesco United
Former Club: Zesco Malaiti Rangers
Caps: 7
The under-20 midfield is well secured. With his holding role at the middle of the pack, Harrison Chisala does not only add up the numbers but is a force to reckon with.
Name: Harrison Chisala
Date of Birth: August 4, 1997
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Nkana
Former Club: Mining Rangers
Caps: unknown
From the time he was tested at under-17 level, Prosper Chiluya has proved his prowess as a left back.
Name: Prosper Chiluya
Date of Birth: April 2, 1998
Position: Defender
Current Club: Kafue Celtic
Former Club: Olympic Youth Academy
Caps: unknown
He is not one of the most talked about player but Sydney Phiri’s defensive midfield role in the team speaks for itself.
Name: Sydney Phiri
Date of Birth: June 12, 1997
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Gomes FC
Former Club: Ndola Police
Caps: unknown
Benson Chali is one of the most consistent and reliable player in the under-20 squad. The Forest Rangers defender has maintained his position in the junior squad through his hard work.
Name: Benson Chali
Date of Birth: December 2, 1997
Position: Defender
Current Club: Forest Rangers
Former Cub: Olympic Circles
Chrispin Sakulanda hails from the legendary Mufulira Wanderers. The self-motivated nimble footed midfielder has all it takes to progress to the next stage of his career.
Name: Chrispin Sakulanda
Date of Birth: June 27, 1997
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Mufulira Wanderers
Former Club: Mining Rangers
Caps: unknown
Mangani Banda is the preferred first choice goalkeeper for the under-20. The Zanaco net-minder has a huge task of proving himself worth the respect he is accorded by the technical bench when Zambia starts the Africa Youth Championship title campaign on Sunday.
Name: Mangani Banda
Date of Birth: July 13, 1997
Position: Goalkeeper
Current Club: Zanaco

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