ENGLAND based Mwiya Malumo says he will work towards earning a slot in the senior national team after the 2018 Mopani COSAFA Under 20 Championship. Malumo, who is attached to Vulcan FC, said his immediate target was to deliver at the regional tournament before he sets his eyes at the broader picture
“First of all make sure I do the country proud, so do a good performance for the COSAFA and after that maybe push towards the senior team,” Malumo said.
And U-20 coach Charles Bwale said the current crop of players in his squad had impressed him this far. Bwale said the players had blended.
“If you look at the team that we featured last time in Kitwe, most of them were just Under 17 that we had to upgrade. We have played a number of games including the qualifiers and most of them are out of that shell. Looking at the performance we displayed last year, this time around it will be a different team and we will see a lot of improvement because most of the players are still there,” Bwale said.
“If I look at them, they are talented players and when it comes jelling, they have no problems because they are skillful and their mental strength is superb. They are good players.”
He said he was making sure that his squad did not include over aged players as he did not want to be involved in cheating.
“Before we include anyone to the squad we need to verify the age of the player. I will not be the kind of coach who will entertain age cheating. We looked at Nebert [Musamba] and verified the age and I think he must, maybe, be playing for the senior national team, in that category,” he said.
He said some players had not yet reported to camp for various reasons.
“We called about 30 players into camp and only 27 have reported so far, we have two players that are writing grade 12 [exams], Muma Mumba and Kingsley Akuya. We also have Mwepu who is attending trials in Austria and Lameck Banda. We hope before we start the tournament, Lameck will be in but Mwepu is ruled out,” said Bwale.
The COSAFA Cup will kick off on December 2 with an encounter against neighbours, DR Congo. Meanwhile, U-20 national team yesterday beat a Chawama select side 5-1 in a preparatory match. Bwale was assessing his 27-member team currently in camp that include two foreign based players Edward Chilufya (Sweden) and Malumo.