According to local media reports, 25 local based players have been invited to pitch up a weeklong training camp from which the best will be part of the squad that will go to Senegal play offs.
Zambia FA spokesperson, Nkweto Tembwe said the training camp that will held up to next Thursday has been called to put the team in shape as it prepares for Senegal tournament.
“The training camp has been called to start preparations for the Senegal U23 Championship. It is going to last until Thursday after which players will return to their clubs.
“We expect two or three of such weeklong training camps before the boys go into full residential camp,” Tembwe explained.
Zambia has been drawn into group A that has, South Africa, Tunisia and the hosts Senegal while,Egypt,Algeria,Mali and Nigeria are in group B.
Meanwhile Zambia Assistant Coach, Tenant Chilumba has expressed optimism that Zambia has all relevant arsenals in its repertoire to emerge from Senegal tournament as one of the three Africa representatives to Brazil Olympic Games.
“There’s no reason why this team with the players we’ve got can’t go to the Olympics. It’s the desire of every player that we qualify for Brazil. We have a very good team and I am sure we can do it,” he said.
However, he conceded that it will not be a cakewalk for his side to emerge among the three best teams from the Senegal tournament, saying with right preparations the task can be accomplished.
“I know it won’t be easy but all the teams are beatable. What matters most are the preparations, I am confident this team will perform well in Senegal,” he added.
Zambia FA president, Kalusha Bwalya recently sounded similar sentiments about the Junior Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) side but said what is necessary now is for the nation to believe that the team can pull off a positive result at the Senegal tournament.
“We have to believe in ourselves that we have dedicated bunch of boys that can rise to the occasion when an opportunity presents itself,” he said.
“It’s important that we prepare well between now and December that when we go to Senegal we can do the right thing so that we fly the Zambian eagle in Rio.We will definitely be prepared when we go to Senegal,” Bwalya added.
Zambia is eyeing second appearance at the global biggest sporting festival, during their last maiden and only appearance in Seoul, South Korea Games in 1988, they had a trailblazing run.
In a round-robin stage, Chipolopolo steamrolled Guatemala 4-0, then drew with Iraq 2-2 and wrapped the show by massacring Italy 4-0, but bowed out in the knockout stage where they were hammered 4-0 by West Germany.
Overall, Bwalya walked out from Seoul games with a total of six goals tally under his belt.
He netted a brace in the first game against Guatemala while midfielder, the late Derby Makinka claimed the other brace.
In the encounter against Iraq, Bwalya shared the spoils with striking partner, Stone Nyirenda but he rounded up the round-robin stage by banging a hat trick while another striking partner Jonson Bwalya scored the other goal.
The 2015 Africa Under-23 Championship tournament that Senegal will host later this year will start on 28 November and wind up on 12 December.