By NDINAWE SIMPELWE and
SANDRA MWILA –
THE local based Chipolopolo players resume their routine one week assessment training today in Ndola with Coach George Lwandamina maintaining that there was still room for new call ups in the team.
In an interview Lwandamina said he wanted to assess the core of the team first before thinking of adding on new call ups.
He further confirmed that all players with club engagements would be released to feature for their respective teams in league matches.
“Like I said earlier, this camping is just for a few days, we can’t keep starting all over every time, so we want to have a base and that’s why we want to assess the core which is made of the same players and if need be, new call ups will be added at an appropriate time,” Lwandamina said.
He said the idea of assessing the same players was in order to have a foundation for the team because it did not pay to keep building new teams every time they went into camp.
Meanwhile Lwandamina has dismissed the notion that local players were struggling to score compared to their foreign counterparts.
Lwandamina said it was easy to think that local players were struggling looking at the way professional players at big clubs have consistently found the back of the net.
He said the Zambian players were doing fine especially that most of them were starting on the bench in preference to foreign players.
“How many goals have been scored so far in the league? Are you telling me that all the goals have been scored by the foreign players? No, we also have Zambian players scoring goals. Yes the foreign players are
scoring the goals because they are the ones playing at their respective clubs. You don’t expect players to score from the bench,” Lwandamina said.
He said he was sure the coaches at clubs would find a solution if the Zambian players were struggling to score.
Meanwhile, goal keeper Jacob Banda said the onus is on the team to work hard and make it to the finals of the 2016 COSAFA senior challenge slated for June 11-25 in South Africa.
Banda said in an interview yesterday that all teams in Africa had developed and Zambia will not have it easy.
He said the team will not underrate any opponent they will face but work hard to ensure they go past the quarter finals.
Zambia will be on bye in the first round and will join the tournament in the quarter finals as they await winners of Group A that has Swaziland, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Group B has Malawi, Angola, Lesotho and Mauritius while other countries that will be joining in quarter finals are host South Africa, winners of Group B ,Namibia who will play Botswana and Mozambique that will face Congo DRC.
Banda said the team drew a number of lessons during last year COSAFA and will perform better this year.
He said a number of local players have been exposed to a number of international tournaments and will do better at the tournament.