IT was exciting for millions of football fans to see the name of Kabange Mupopo, the Zambia National Women soccer team, (Shepolopolo) captain, listed among those to report to camp for the Cameroon 2016 Africa Woman Championship (AWC) qualifier against Namibia.
Mupopo has stayed away from football for about a year as she pursued her athletics career.
When Mupopo was with the football team, they were breaking barriers, beating the big guns in the region like Tanzania and Zimbabwe to make the AWC tournament, where she went on to play.
But in her time away, Shepolopolo has been struggling and failed to get past even one stage in both the All-Africa Games (AAG) and the Olympics qualifiers.
Mupopo was, meanwhile, making strikes on the tracks, traversing the globe as she sought Olympics qualification which she eventually got in September at the AAG where she also minted gold for Zambia in the 400m flat race.
She is also the African champion in the 400m race.
In this time that she was picking up honours and Shepolopolo struggling, she always found time to visit her football mates in camp, urging them on and she has been at every football match when in the country.
That speaks volumes of her attachment to the game of football and how close she is with the football players and it must be with great excitement in camp to have their leader back in the team.
And she will be vital in the game against Namibia next month.
But truth is, Mupopo will have to make a decision about which direction she will have to take- either football or athletics, and she better make it soon.
Multi-talented as she, Mupopo argues that she was given talent in football and athletics by God and she cannot throw away one talent just like that and insists she can juggle both games and find time to practice both.
Football and athletics training are different and for one to be proficient in one sport needs a lot of dedication to be better each day than the previous day.
The key to success is specialisation and Mupopo will need to specially in improving either sprint to meet the standards at world levels which she just has to, her time on the continent falls way short of world leading times.
In football, staying away from football for one year, like she did, means she has lost a great of touch, progression time and will be lagging behind her levels of improvement in trying to get to the top.
Because of these factors, I feel Mupopo needs to kill off one sentimental attachment to one game and increase intensity on one in order to get the best of results.
Chipolopolo goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene struggled to kill off his natural ability as a striker and concentrated on one and I believe he made a good move.
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