By GWEN CHIPASULA –
STRIKER Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba yesterday joined the Zambia Under-23 soccer team that leaves for Nigeria tomorrow for the Congo Brazzaville 2015 All Africa Games final round first leg qualifier.
But midfielders Bruce Musakanya and Mukuka Mulenga have been ruled out ofSunday’s clash due to injuries.
However, coach Fighton Simukonda also got a boost when five players from the vanquished Zambia Under-20 side joined the squad following their early elimination from the Africa Youth Championship in Senegal.
These are Power Dynamos midfielder Larry Bwalya, Red Arrows striker Patrick Ngoma, Napsa Stars defender Boyd Mkandawire and the Zanaco striking duo of Charles Zulu and Dave Daka.
Simukonda said the morale was now high in camp with the arrival of Kampamba, who joined the team on Monday evening from his Egyptian base.
He said in an interview after a training session at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka that he was happy that Kampamba had joined camp because he has experience having played for the senior team.
“Morale has now been boosted in camp but it is so unfortunate that our other senior player Mukuka Mulenga is unlikely to be part of us. We have been trying to get in touch with his club in South Africa but there is no news if at all he will come.
I have tried calling him but he has not been picking up. If we fail to communicate with him by the end of today (yesterday) then he is definitely ruled out of the team because we do not have enough time,” he said.
Simukonda said Musakanya failed to recover from a hamstring which he sustained prior to the start of camping but that the player was still in his plans especially that there was a return leg still to be played.
He said the team was shaping up well and that the players will do their best to win the qualifying match against Nigeria to secure qualification that will bring smiles on the Zambian fans.
“Fans complain a lot but that will not stop us from working hard to achieve our dream of qualifying. We also want to win just like Nigeria, so we will try our level best because both teams are working towards the same goal which is to qualify,” he said.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Tunisian official Said Mohamed Kordi will be the referee forSunday’s match in Abuja and he will be assisted by his compatriots, Anouar Hmila, Mohamed Bitouta and Nasrallah Jaouadi while Apanga Lucien Nazaire from Gabon, will be the match commissioner.
Times of Zambia