WOMEN’s national team coach Bruce Mwape has declared his lasses ready for the 2022 Hollywood bets COSAFA championships that swings into action tomorrow.
Speaking in an interview before departure, Monday, Mwape said the team has set itself a target to challenge for the title.
Mwape said players selected to represent the country at this year’s tournament are equal the task.
“We have named a strong squad for this year’s COSAFA as we shall be using it as build up and preparation for the World Cup next year. Our main objective is to challenge for the cup but we shall be taking each game as it comes. Modern football has changed and mind you there are no small teams anymore,” Mwape said.
He warned his lasses not to underrate any team in the Group but rather take each and every game with the seriousness it deserves.
Influential captain Barbra Banda will lead the 2022 WAFCON Bronze medallists’ frontline alongside Lusaka Dynamos Women FC striker Xiomara Mapepa, Red Arrows striker Ochumba Oseke Lubanji and Police Doves attacker Eneless Phiri.
Mwape has also included National Assembly goalkeeper Agness Banda in his 23-member squad that also has Zesco Ndola Girls defender Vast Phiri who returns to the national team after missing the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
Goalkeeper Hazel Nali and striker Grace Chanda have club engagements in Turkey and Kazakhstan respectively hence missing out on the list.
Zambia will begin their campaign against Namibia on 1 September before entertaining Lesotho three days later. The Copper Queens will wrap-up their Group B matches with a fixture against Eswatini on September 6.
The tournament has three groups and only the top team in each group and the best-placed runner-up among the three pools will qualify to the semifinals.
The full team comprises of goal keepers Eunice Sakala, Agness Banda and Catherine Musonda while defenders are Vast Phiri, Esther Banda, Esther Siamfuko, Agness Musesa, Lushomo Mweemba, Martha Tembo, Judith Soko and Margaret Belemu.
Midfielders include Ireen Lungu, Mary Wilombe, Evarine Susan Katongo, Natasha Witika, Avell Chitundu, Maweta Chilenga and Misozi Zulu while strikers Barbara Banda, Natasha Nanyangwe, Ochumba Oseke Lubanji, Eneless Phiri and Xiomara Mapepa.