U23 Olympics dream shapes up

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The Zambia Under-23 Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations preparations have received a boost with Nkana players joining camp after having missed previous sessions due to club engagements.

Assistant coach Bilton Musonda welcomed to the fold Harrison Chisala and Moses Nyondo who were part of the 2017 U20 Africa Cup winning side.

Others that have been roped in are Biston Banda from in-form Circuit City, Ngosa Sunzu (Buildcon), Twiza Chaibela (Kabwe Warriors) and Simon Nkhata (Napsa Stars).

Musonda was without Zanaco and Zesco United players who were playing on Sunday but are expected to join in the afternoon session.

In an interview after the morning session at Nkoloma Stadium, Musonda said that the team had entered the final phase of preparations with the local players.

Musonda said that the technical bench had zeroed in on players that would be eligible for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We have eliminated those that are under-23 but are not eligible for the tournament because they were born in 1996. We should have players who were born in January 1997,” he said.

The Beston Chambeshi tutored side is hoping to replicate their success at Under-20 level with foreign based players expected to be part of the final selection.

Zambia will be away to Malawi on March 20 before hosting the junior flames four days later in Lusaka.
Part of the 2017 Under-20 winning cast will be the highlight of the Under-23 campaign.

The team have been training for three weeks now underscoring the significance of the Olympic qualification dream.

Winner between Zambia and Malawi will face either Congo Brazzaville or Burundi in the final qualifying round.

Eight teams qualify to the AFCON with the top three qualifying to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Zambia was last at the Olympics in 1988 where they reached the quarterfinals.

TEAM LIST

(GOALKEEPERS)

Mangani Banda (Zanaco), Jackson Kakunta (Power Dynamos), Charles Muntanga (Nkwazi), Lameck Siame (Kitwe United)

(DEFENDERS)

Wayne Museba (Kabwe Warriors), Kebson Kamanga (Nkwazi), Lewis Maimba (Nkwazi), Sydney Phiri (Gomes), Paul Banda (Lusaka Dynamos), Luka Banda (Napsa Stars), Solomon Sakala, Shemmy Mayembe (Zesco United), Moses Nyondo (Nkana), Chiboni Kondwani (Power Dynamos), Field Kandela (Kabwe Warriors)

(MIDFIELDER)
Boyd Musonda (Zanaco), Simon Nkata (Napsa Stars), Prince Mumba Twiza Chaibela (Kabwe Warriors), Lameck Banda, Edward Tembo (Zesco United), Crispin Sakulanda (Red Arrows), Harrison Chisala (Nkana), Ngosa Sunzu (Buildcon), Benson Kolala (Forest Rangers), Linos Makwaza (Power Dynamos)

(STRIKERS)
Biston Banda, Mangani Phiri (Circuit City), Davy Daka (Power Dynamos), Klings Kangwa (Buildcon)

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31