ZAMBIA Women’s national team players are targeting to win the 2022 COSAFA Women’s Championship that kicks off on August 31 to 11 September in Port Elizabeth .
Midfielder Ireen Lungu said in an interview after morning training session at Nkoloma Stadium, Monday, that the team would work hard and build on the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) performance and replicate their performance at the COSAFA and win the trophy.
The Copper Queens go into the tournament after winning bronze at the WAFCON and qualifying to their first ever World Cup.
Some players in the squad from Green Buffaloes are also fresh from winning the COSAFA Women’s Champions League and qualified to the CAF Champions League slated for Morocco in October.
“Winning the COSAFA starts now in training. Everyone in the team is pushing and doing their best to get good results. We are pushing to get the COSAFA trophy and build the momentum even as we look forward to playing at the World Cup,” Lungu said.
Lungu has been in good form this year, helping the Copper Queens mint bronze at the WAFCON and replicated her performance at club level were she inspired the team to win the COSAFA Champions League where she finished as top scorer as well as becoming the first player to score a hat trick in the competition.
“I have been training hard after I came back from an injury. I have been treating myself well and I will keep pushing till I find myself playing outside the country. The best of me is yet to come and I am using this tournament to seal a move outside Zambia,” said Lungu.
Defender Magret Belemu said competition in the squad was high and everyone was putting in their best to make the final team.
Belemu said the expectations from the soccer fans were high after winning bronze at the WAFCON and would do their best to build on the momentum.
“Looking at how we performed at the WAFCON, fans expect a lot from us. We are also confident that we can win our first COSAFA title because we are enjoying good form recently. We are not going to underrate any opponents in the competition despite having beaten both eSwatini and Namibia in the past meetings,” said Belemu.
Zambia is in Group B alongside Namibia, eSwatini and Lesotho.
Meanwhile, midfielder Evarine Katongo said the Copper Queens would continue putting smiles on soccer fans by winning the COSAFA.
Katongo said everyone in the team was putting effort to ensure that the team is adequately prepared ahead of the championship.
“We won’t underrate our opponents just because we beat them last COSAFA but instead work harder, everyone was putting effort to be in the final team,” Katongo said.
She added that the fans should continue believing in the Copper Queens and they would make them proud.
“The fans should continue believing in us. We are not going to the COSAFA to participate but to compete. We shall continue to put smiles on your faces,” she said.
Katongo who has risen through the ranks from the Under 20 team has had an impact in the national team in the last two years.
Katongo was part of the team that competed at the Tokyo Olympics and won bronze at the WAFCON.
“It feels great to be part of the team as one of the youngest players. I will continue with my form and work even harder than I did at WAFCON,” said Katongo.