Chipolopolo Zambia have kicked off their training camp for a busy July ahead in which the home-based team summoned by Aljosa Asanovic has two assignments.
‘The 23-member Zambia team will first take part in the 2022 COSAFA Cup that South Africa is hosting in Durban from July 5-17.
But Chipolopolo will enter the fray at the quarterfinal stage after they were handed a bye as the third highest side on the FIFA rankings at the COSAFA Cup together with six other teams who include defending champions South Africa plus top seed and guest side Senegal.
“We are waiting to know our opponent but we must be ready for any team,” Asanovic said at the end of Thursday morning on the first day of training at Barca Academy in Lusaka.
Chipolopolo await the outcome from Group A where Angola, Seychelles, Botswana and Comoros will battle to finish top and advance to the quarterfinals.
And Chipolopolo head to Durban where they won their fifth COSAFA Cup title in 2019 under Aggrey Chiyangi but relinquished it in July, 2021 after a poor showing at Nelson Mandela Bay where they made a first-ever group stage exit.
But Asanovic added that the COSAFA Cup will also be a great buildup for their 2022 CHAN first round qualifier against Mozambique that will follow on July 23 away and July 30 at home.
“We are going there to play well and get the results. Training is one thing but the game is another thing but we know we need the games before the CHAN and this is a great opportunity for us,” Asanovic said.
“If you go into a competition, you go into it for a win and not just to take part.
“It is very important how we do there, that is my target. My target is also to go there and play very well to win.”
GOALKEEPERS:Mwenya Chibwe (Zesco United), Charles Kalumba (Red Arrows), Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos)
DEFENDERS:Allan Kapila, Prosper Chiluya, Benedict Chepeshi (all Red Arrows), Shemmy Mayembe (Zesco United), Dominic Chanda (Kabwe Warriors), Warren Kunda (Green Eagles), Luka Banda (Napsa Stars)
MIDFIELDERS:Kelvin Kapumbu (Zanaco),Saddam Phiri (Red Arrows), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Spencer Sautu, Kelvin Mubanga (both Zesco United), Patrick Gondwe, Harrison Chisala (both Nkana)
FORWARDS: Jimmy Mukeya (Napsa Stars), Enock Sakala Jnr (Zesco United), Joshua Mutale (Power Dynamos), Albert Kangwanda ,Ricky Banda (both Red Arrows), Abraham Siakombo (Zanaco)