By Aaron Mubanga Jnr | September 29, 2020
Zambia U-17 Women’s National Team head coach Kaluba Kangwa says he is happy with the way his players are responding to the training sessions and patterns they bring put through by the Technical bench as they continue preparations for next months COSAFA U-17 Women’s tournament.
Last week, The Copper Princesses gaffer complained of a lack of fitness from his players but he is now happy with the progression though he feels they are yet to reach their best fitness levels.
Kaluba Kangwa will be without two players in Midfielder Josephine Phiri and defender Tefeonga Munene who are writing exams but he is confident he still has a good team to do well at the tournament.
Kaluba who also doubles up Bauleni United Sports Academy coach was also quick to thank the clubs, coaches, schools, and parents for their cooperation to allow the players to join the U-17 Women’s national team camp.
“I’m happy the girls are responding well and the level of fitness now has increased though not yet at our best level but we improving which is very important and we are pushing the girls were over. We are giving the girls a lot of hard time meaning we want them to recover the fitness levels within a short period of time, but otherwise, the response has been overwhelming and the girls they are also accepting the situation which is very important and from our point of view as technical stuff, We are trying to strengthen all angles of the game,” he said
“Well, of course, priority at U-17 is to make sure that our players are educated. Education is very important and this is what we emphasize on we’ve got some players that are missing due to exams that are coming up. And also we’ve got players that are going to graduate and this is going to be their last assignment, but definitely call upon you the media to come through and support us in the graduation ceremony want to graduate the children. They’ve learned a lot during the time we were with them at under-17 and the new entrants they should also be working extremely hard to make sure that they emulate what they are sisters have done.”
“Our main goal is to see that we are feeding the u-20 with a lot of players and also the senior team as well, which is very important. So some of them might graduate even directly the senior but what is important for us is to see that we do the basics we do what is supposed to be done at the Grassroots level and pure to that. We are also appreciating the Schools that have given an opportunity for some of the children to be here because it’s not easily remembered that schools were closed up but now they’ve allowed some of the children to come through to our program which is very important and the parents also like to appreciate them because they’ve given us an opportunity to work with their children at this period of challenging time, but we are really grateful that the partnership that we have with the parents the schools and the coaches and the leaders in different teams and clubs is overwhelming,” he added.
The 2020 Cosafa under-17 tournament is tentatively set for South Africa next month in Port Elizabeth and coach Kaluba Kangwa believes his team will be ready in time for the tournament.
“Of course, Yes, We are going to be ready for the challenge ahead. Remember that our first priority as U-17 at every event that comes across is to make sure that we make the progression for the players. They have to grow in the mind, They have to grow on how they are going to play the game. They have to grow in the management of the game itself. And besides that our key element is also to make sure that we achieve the goals from the Football Association of Zambia. And this goal is to make sure that we mold a team and a group that is going to bring trophies because we want to create a great champion in the hearts of the girls in such a way that we want to make sure that when they graduate to under-20 and senior team, they would have been strong Champions at heart here.”
Kaluba Kangwa has already lost promising goalkeeper Shanice Kolala to injury while he will be relieved that skipper Esther Siamfuko, striker Melissa Mutaba, and midfielder Blessed Mwaba have all started light training after picking up knocks last week.