Young Chipolopolo kicks off preliminary training camp

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Zambia Under-20 soccer team

Young Chipolopolo has kicked off its preliminary training camp for the Senegal 2015 African Youth Championships qualifiers.

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The team entered camp in Lusaka on March 10 where they are training from the Olympic Youth Development Centre.

Twenty two out of the 44 call-ups were part of day one of training under assistant coach Bilton Musonda.

Musonda stood in for head coach George Lwandamina for the day as he had pressing club commitments at Zesco United.

Young Chipolopolo are exempt from the preliminary round qualifiers that kick-off on April 4 and will instead enter the fray in May.

They await the winner of the first round qualifier involving Mozambique and Namibia who will battle over two legs in April.

Lwandamina’s side will be away in the first leg to face the winner of that first round tie on May 10 before hosting their opponents in the return leg decider on May 24 for a place in the final round qualifying stage.

And should Young Chipolopolo advance to the final qualifying phase in August, they will play winner of the first round qualifier involving winner of the DR Congo versus Malawi or Botswana tie.

D.R Congo, like Zambia, enjoy a preliminary bye while they await the outcome of the Botswana versus Malawi clash.

Zambia have not qualified to the African Youth Championship since 2007 when they reached the semi-finals in Congo Brazzaville.

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That placing saw Young Chipolopolo subsequently qualify for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Canada later that same year where they reached the last 16.

And Nkana striker Ronald Kampamba says they respect the CAF Champions League last 16 opponents Zamalek but do not fear them.
The 22-year-old striker was barely 10 years old the last time Nkana played their nemeses from Egypt at the same stage of the competition in 2002 when Zamalek eliminated the Kitwe side on their way to winning their fifth and last Champions League title to date.
“I am really looking forward to facing Zamalek for the first time. They are a good side but we will not fear them,” Kampamba said.
“But we have to work extra hard and be very focused.”
Kampamba is currently Nkana’s joint top scorer in the competition tied on three goals from four games.
Nkana will host Zamalek in the first leg on March 22 before travelling to Cairo on March 31.
The Zambian club has never eliminated any of the Cairo big two since their first encounter against Egyptian opposition in 1983.

Meanwhile, Zambia midfielder William Njobvu is out with injury after limping off in the first half of Cypriot club Enosis’ league game on Sunday.

The 27-year-old midfielder limped off in the 22nd minute in second from bottom Enosis’ 1-1 away draw at 9th positioned Doxa.

“It is a muscle pull, not very serious but will be out for one week or so,” Njobvu told MTNFootball.com.

The midfielder was called up for the Uganda friendly but mysterious dropped out prior to the March 5 friendly.

And in elsewhere in European action involving Njobvu’s compatriots, midfielder Chisamba Lungu enjoyed a winning return to league action on Saturday after the three month Russian Premiership winter break.

Chisamba played the full 90 minutes in second from bottom Ural in their 1-0 away win over sixth placed Krasnodar.

And in Hungary, striker Fwayo Tembo was not part of his new sides’ Kaposvari Rakoczi’s travelling party to Ujpest on Saturday where the bottom placed side finished 1-1.

In Israel, defenders Francis Kasonde and Emmanuel Mbola started for 11th positioned Hapoel Ra’anana in its 2-0 away loss to number six club Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday.

However, Mbola who was in midweek action with Zambia against Uganda in Ndola was substituted in the 59th minute while Kasonde finished the match.

 

And Arsenal face an uphill battle against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday in their UEFA Champions League last 16 final leg.

The Gunners trail the defending European champions 2-0 from the first leg meeting on February 19 at The Emirates.

However, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger believes they may be down but are not out ahead of their date against the German juggernaut that is blowing away all the competition in the Bundesliga.

Wenger is feeling upbeat especially after a 4-1 FA Cup win over Everton that came in the wake of their shock 1-0 away loss to Stoke on March 1.

“We needed to respond from a very disappointing result at Stoke and from a very disappointing performance. We were at the expected level and that is what will be needed again on Tuesdaynight,” Wenger told Arsenals official website.

“What I rate is that we have a huge desire to turn this result around. We have nothing to lose but let’s be inspired by the type of performance we have shown, show the same attitude and put them under pressure then I think we have a chance.”

Their last visit to the Allianz Arena was also in similar circumstances after losing 3-1 in London before exiting with a respectable 2-0 win in Germany.

Meanwhile, Bayern’s architect in this past February’s first leg win in London Thomas Muller is still wary of Arsenal despite his side current 16 match winning streak in the Bundesliga.

“Thinking about the character of our team, we have won our last 16 games in the Bundesliga. We always turn up, everybody always wants to win. We are not careless or arrogant. We always concentrate and want to win,” Muller said.

However, the football gods still favour Bayern who have one major injury concern with European player of the year Franck Ribery their only serious doubt.

Arsenal on the other hand will be without playmaker Jack Wilshere, defender Nacho Monreal and midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

 

And Malawi senior national football team, the Flames, might forgo the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations due to inadequate funding.

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu told The Nation newspaper of Tuesday that the national team’s main sponsor, government had told the association to choose between the Flames and the Under-20′s participation in CAF Youth Championship.

“We have no choice but to forego the Nations Cup because government advised us to prioritise. We have, therefore, prioritized the Under-20 for the sake of development and also the consequences would be far-reaching since we already confirmed participation in the CAF Youth Championship,” Nyamilandu said.

“It is a painful decision, but as I said, there was little we could do because it was government that assured us that funding would be available for the Under-20 competition and now the tune has changed and they asked us to choose.”

Nyamilandu said they had tried to dig dipper into their pocket to fund friendly games and now the association’s coffers are dry.

Sports Minister Enoch Chihana questioned the preparedness of the Flames in competitions and suggested that the issue should not be about making numbers in competitions but competing.

Malawi, the 1984 and 2010 Nations Cup finalists, lost 1-4 to Zimbabwe last Wednesday at the Kamuzu Stadium in what was the hosts first match in six months.

ZNBC

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