The Zambia U20 national team are about to wrap up the sides’ second week of their preliminary 2023 U20 AFCON training camp in Lusaka.
This is Zambia’s first time back at the U20 AFCON since winning it as hosts in 2017 that later saw that team reach the FIFA U20 World Cup quarterfinals in South Korea.
Thirty-six players entered the first week of training camp but this week 30 remained as Chisi Mbewe’s charges intensify early preparations for the U20 AFCON that Egypt is going to host from February 18-March 12.
For now, the local training camp does not include any foreign-based call-ups.
Winger Richard Ngoma of Maccabi Netanya in Israel, midfielder Miguel Chaiwa of Young Boys in Switzerland and striker Peter Chiklola from Croatian club Gorcia are Chisi confirmed oversea call-ups.
“We are yet to be given the number of players we are expected to remain with and waiting for regulations from CAF that is the reason why we still have 30 players in camp,” Chisi said.
Zambia qualified for the U20 AFCON after winning the 2022 COSAFA U20 title last October in Eswatini where they ousted Mozambique following a 1-0 victory in the final.
Both finalists will be the COSAFA zone’s representatives in Egypt.
Meanwhile, the tournament draws have not been made but Chisi is hoping for a high-profile friendly can be secured as early as January.
“It is key. This is another level of competition that we are going to,” Chisi said.
“This is the U20 AFCON and we are thinking along those lines of securing an international friendly so that we prepare the boys mentally and physically so that they know what to expect in Egypt.”