Mumamba Numba has declared his team of mostly his Under-17 products ready for the challenge of defending the COSAFA U20 title on home ground this week.
Zambia is hosting the 2017 COSAFA U20 in Kitwe from December 6-16.
The 2017 COSAFA U17 champions, who won that title in Mauritius in July under Numba, have been handed the job of defending the title after their predecessors and ex-Under-20 coach Beston Chambeshi were elevated to the Under-23 team.
Hosts Zambia is in Group A where they will face Malawi, Swaziland and Uganda.
Zambia starts their title defence against Uganda on Wednesday in a 17h30 kickoff at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
“It is a very tough group, there is no easy game in football,” Numba said.
“The first game is very important so if we get a win that will motivate us in our push to defend our title.”
But Numba has two notable names from the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup quarterfinalists in his team.
Edward Chilufya, who won the 2016 COSAFA U20 crown in South Africa last December and the2017 U20 AFCON title at home in March and later in June went to the World Cup in South Korea, is in the team.
The attacking midfielder of Swedish club Djurgardens replaces Niza Simutenda who will miss the tournament after fracturing his arm.
Midfielder Ngosa Sunzu who was a fringe player in South Korea attempts to impress his new Under-20 coach Numba.
But Expectations are high on striker Lameck Banda of Nkwazi, who was joint top scorer at in Mauritius, and midfielder Prince Mumba who has also been promoted from the Under-17.