Zambia U-17 national team captain Miguel Chaiwa is expecting a tough campaign in Port Elizabeth as the team begins their COSAFA U-17 CHAMPIONSHIP title defense on Friday.
Zambia romped to the trophy last year, recording wins over Eswatini (6-0), South Africa (7-0), and Malawi (3-2) in the pool stages, followed by a 2-0 victory over Angola in the semifinals, and a win by the same scoreline in the final against Mozambique.
“Yesterday’s (Tuesday) training was a bit difficult because of the weather but today (Wednesday) we worked very hard and did everything the coach told us,” Chaiwa said.
“So far so good, we have been encouraged a lot, Coming here as Champions it won’t be easy and we need to be focused if we go to sleep we may lose,” he added.
The young Copper Bullets will open their campaign against the Comoros Islands on Friday, before a crunch meeting with Malawi two days later. They finish their pool play against Botswana on November 25.
Chaiwa believes starting the Tournament with a win over Comoros Islands will help them by boosting the morale in camp.
“A win against Comoros will bring a lot of morale in camp and will give us more confidence so that we can take the trophy back home. Our target is to qualify to the AFCON and win the title again,” he said.
“Remain patient, we working hard as a team to bring the trophy back home,” he added.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, while the two finalists will qualify for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations that is scheduled to be played in Morocco.