Wedson Nyirenda has shown his hand with his debut Zambia list that includes some surprises amongst the usual suspects in a 33-member provisional team called-up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B opener against Nigeria on October 9 in Ndola.
For the first time in the post-George Lwandamina era, four Power Dynamos players have been summoned to the national team.
Interesting on the list is the name of left-back Lawrence Chungu who has received his debut Zambia call-up after two convincing seasons in that position at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Wedson has also summoned Chungu’s club mate and defender Billy Mutale despite the jury still out on the young central defender abilities.
There is, however, no place for Green Buffaloes defender Buchizya Mfune nor the Katongo brothers; Felix and Christopher.
But Fwayo Tembo is on the list despite the Power Dynamos midfielders’ self-imposed exile from the Chipolopolo setup.
In-form Power striker Patson Daka, who has scored eight goals over the last two months, has been handed a chance to resuscitate his still very young Zambia career.
But Power’s archrivals Nkana only have one call-up in defender Donaciano Malama and there is no place for midfielder Jacob Ngulube.
Chisamba Lungu of FC Ural in Russia is back so too is Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and striker Collins Mbesuma of Highlands Park who were all absent for Zambia’s final 2017 Africa Cup Group E qualifier game against Kenya earlier this month.
Striker Lewis Macha, a player reportedly Wedson recommended to Kaizer Chiefs and was recalled to the team by his predecessor for the Kenya match, is in the team after missing that Group E due to an injury he sustained during Zambia’s camp for the match in Ndola.
Nine foreign-based players in all are on the list.
GOALKEEPERS:Jacob Banda (Zesco United), Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Racha Kola (Zanaco)
DEFENDERS:Lawrence Chungu, Billy Mutale (both Power Dynamos), Fackson Kapumbu, George Chilufya, Ziyo Tembo (all Zanaco), Simon Siliwmba (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Kabaso Chongo (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Stopilla Sunzu (Lille, France), Donashano Malama (Nkana)
MIDFIELDERS: Roderick Kabwe, Charles Zulu (Zanaco), Fwayo Tembo (Power Dynamos), Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala (both TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Cletus Chama, John Chingandu, Misheck Chaila, Mwape Mwelwa (all Zesco United), Jack Chirwa (Green Buffaloes), Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles), Chisamba Lungu (FC Ural, Russia)
STRIKERS:Justin Shonga (Nkwazi), Jackson Mwanza (Zesco United), Winston Kalengo (AC Leopards, Congo-Brazzaville), Lewis Macha (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Patson Daka (Power Dynamos), Collins Mbesuma (Highlands Park, South Africa)