Carol Kanyemba targets FIFA U17 World Cup semi-final spot

Head Coach of the Zambia U17 Women’s National Team coach Carol Kanyemba believes her squad can reach the semi-finals of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.

The tournament is set for the Dominican Republic from 16 October to 3 November this year, with the Zambians qualified alongside Nigeria and Kenya as African representatives.

But the history making coach – who is the first female to get a Zambian national team to a FIFA World Cup – says African players need to change their mentality when going to major tournaments.

“My personal goal at this tournament is to be able to record very positive results against teams that are well known – this will be done by psyching up our players,” said Kanyemba.

“I think most times we lose games, as African teams and debutants, because we give so much respect to the teams that have already been there and have been existing.

“But what I’ve come to believe is that competition within every continent is different – you might find competition in Africa is very stiff and high, and when you go to the World Cup, just because of the name of the country, you have so much respect for them and lose your focus and your game.

“But I want to tell my girls right now, if you want to be recognised as the best, you need to beat the best, so the best in our group – Brazil and Japan, and I don’t take anything away from Poland because for them to be at the World Cup, they are one of the best as well.

“So if you want to be recognised on an international level, I think we should be able to have enough courage to beat the teams that have been there on the map and at the World Cup.

“So my personal goals at this tournament is to move my team from the group stage, to qualify for the quarter-finals – better still the semi-finals, and to perform much better than the previous team did.”

[SABC Sport]

Zamfoot

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