…As Swaziland game for Chipolopolo
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THIRTEEN Zanaco and Zesco United players have joined the national team in South Africa ahead of this Sunday’s Kenya 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Swaziland, FAZ Communications manager Desmond Katongo has said.
Nyirenda has recalled Jackson Mwanza, Kondwani Mtonga, Dave Daka, Simon Silwimba and Fackson Kapumbu from Zesco while Ziyo Tembo, Taonga Bwembya, Toaster Nsabata, Augustine Mulenga and Ernest Mbewe are the other players “Wada” has summoned.
And speaking in an interview with Daily Nation Sports in Lusaka, Katongo said the team has gone through a transition period which has seen the national team recording mixed results.
“There has been a number of changes which took place in the national team. The 13 players the coach has called from Zanaco and Zesco United joined the team yesterday as they left on Monday.
“We were going through a transitional period and the COSAFA gave the coach an opportunity to give young players a chance to play for the National team,” Katongo said.
He has however called on soccer fans to rally behind the national team despite having lost the COSAFA Cup final to Zimbabwe.
“We know fans want to see results coming and lately there has been a lot of negative energy towards the senior team based on the fact that soccer fans may at times not be able to get what they want but our only cry as an association is for the Zambian soccer fans to support the team.
“We know soccer fans would want to criticize the team when results do not go their way. It’s ok to criticize because at the same time fans provide checks and balances, it’s also an eye opener for the coach that fans who are the major stakeholders are following the team but there is need for fans to learn to encourage the boys,” Katongo said.
Meanwhile, Swaziland national team coach, Pieter de Jongh has picked his 27-man squad, set to play Zambia in the 2018 Kenya CHAN qualifier.
The squad which comprises of players from Mbabane Swallows, the team which was recently eliminated from the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup, is camped In Lobamba town in Swaziland.
Zambia and Swaziland are scheduled to clash at Somhololo National Stadium before the return leg fixture slated for the National Heroes Stadium on July 22.
GOALKEEPERS: Sidumo Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders), Phephisani Msibi (Royal Leopard), Sandile Ginindza (Mbabane Swallows).
DEFENDERS: Machawe Dlamini, Phumlani Dlamini, Sifiso Nkambule, Siboniso Malambe (all Royal Leopard), Thabiso Gumbi (Green Mamba), Siboniso Ndzabandzaba (Tambuti), Sabelo Gamedze (Matsapha United), Sifiso Mabila, Sanele Mkhweli, Mandla Palma (all Mbabane Swallows).
MIDFIELDERS: Menzi Mamba (Matsapha United), Menzi Sithole, Xolani Sibandze (both Mbabane Highlanders), Mcolisi Lukhele (Royal Leopard), Mphile Tsabedze, Sifiso Mazibuko (both Young Buffaloes), Tony Tsabedze, Njabulo Ndlovu, Banele Sikhondze, Wonder Nhleko (all Mbabane Swallows)
FOWARDS: Simanga Shongwe (Midas City), Phindrix Dlamini (Green Mamba), Sifiso Matse (Manzini Wanderers), Manyovu Dlamini (Royal Leopard), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Mbabane Swallows).