Buildcon FC supremo Moses Mubanga says selection at Buildcon this season is still on merit rather than nationality as they target the 2018 FAZ Super Division title.
The big-spending Ndola side last season featured 98 per cent foreign talent en route to finishing 9th.
Almost thirteen foreign members of that first team have departed in the off-season and another seven out of 14 new faces are imports this term.
And some notable local departures from the 2017 season are Gift Sakuwaha and Jonas Sakuwaha.
“We all recall that there was a lot of noise in terms of the composition of the team and people had a lot of different views about the constituents, or the members of the Buildcon FC team,” Mubanga said at a media briefing in Ndola on Saturday.
“I think one of the most important things that came out was that we were not playing attention to the local players.
“But we did explain that when we started, very few local players had the confidence in the team but at the end of the 2017 season, we have definitely upped our profile and are more attractive.”
Some of the local arrivals are defenders Lawrence Chungu and Isaac Shamujompa from Power Dynamos and Nchanga Rangers respectively who were both unused subs at 2018 CHAN in Morocco.
Ex-Zambia striker Given Singuluma has joined from DR Congo club TP Mazembe and midfielder Portipher Zulu has arrived from Lusaka Dynamos.
Goalkeeper Brown Nyirenda has swapped dressing rooms at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium from Zesco United.
“We have now seen a lot of players attracted to join us and therefore the premonition that Buildcon that does not want to bring Zambian players is something that is changing slowly,” Mubanga said.
“We have done better this year but we still maintain the same philosophy that the most important thing is your performance and not where you are coming from.
“So in other words, what we are trying to stay is that we have taken an initiative of bringing in more Zambians.
“But being a Zambian in the team doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to play.
“You need to work hard and compete with everybody.”
Meanwhile, Mubanga said Buildcon were now targeting the 2018 title despite their modest finish last season.
“If we want to be champions at the end of 2018, we must start acting like one now and we must starting talking like champions for 2018. The journey starts now,” Mubanga said.