Zambia’s Chipolopolo coach Aljosa Asanovic has named 42-year-old striker James Chamanga in a provisional 23-member squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group stage qualifiers.
Asanovic wants to tap from the experience of the striker who has played a role in the Red Arrows’ Zambia Premier League title-winning exploits this season.
The coach told the Football Association of Zambia website that Chamanga will also be part of the backroom staff to mentor young players.
“The guy is a top professional, one who many young players can learn from. He will be with us to help show young players the way” Asanovic is quoted as saying.
Chamanga was part of the Zambia squad that won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon.
The coach for Zambia has since said their warm-ups for the AFCON matches were on course.
“Our preparations are on course for the game against Ivory Coast on June 3. We start with the local camp where we are looking at the local players and in touch with foreign players whose leagues are still active,” Asanovic said.
“We know that local players also have a clogged calendar ahead with the CHAN and Cosafa that are coming up. Most importantly, the best of the local players will go with us to Ivory Coast and be part of the June 7 home match against Comoros Islands.”
Foreign-based players will join the squad ahead of Zambia’s Group H qualifier against Ivory Coast on June 3.
BELOW IS THE SQUAD MADE OF LOCAL PLAYERS
Gregory Sanjase (Zesco United), Charles Kalumba (Red Arrows), Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos)
Prosper Chiluya, Benedict Chepeshi, Allan Kapila (all Red Arrows), Shemmy Mayembe (Zesco United), Luka Banda (Napsa Stars), Dominic Chanda (Kabwe Warriors), Miguel Chaiwa (Athletic), Peter Chikola (Kafue Celtic)
Kelvin Kapumbu (Zanaco), Sadam Phiri (Red Arrows, Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Patrick Gondwe (Nkana), Kelvin Kampamba, Spencer Sautu (both Zesco United)
Albert Kangwanda (Kafue Celtic), Jimmy Mukeya (Napsa Stars), Ricky Banda, James Chamanga (Red Arrows), Enock Sakala junior (Zesco United), Moses Phiri (Zanaco)