Phiri – Zambia target Afcon semifinal

Zambia national team and AmaZulu goalkeeper coach Davies Phiri has made it clear that their goal at Afcon is to introduce young, talented players to the highest level.

Phiri said the focus is to make sure that Zambia build a stronger team for the future but again they will challenge to finish in the semifinal stage.

“For us it is more about the exposure for the young players that we have. They have the energy to run but a bit of experience is needed. Majority of them will be playing in this competition for first time in their careers. We have to beef the team with some experienced ones as well.

“However this will not stop us to challenge at least to finish in the semifinals. We will be underdogs and surely that will motivate us more. If you look at the history you will also notice that most teams that do well in this tournament have some young blood on their side,” he said.

Phiri also outlined that the talent of the three Under 20 players – Patrick Ngoma, Bruce Musakanya and Lubambo Masonda – will amaze many people in this tournament.

Ngoma has already been banging in the goals before getting his call up to the senior national team. In December he walked away with the Golden Boot Award in the COSAFA Youth Championships after scoring seven goals.

“I think the three players that will stand out will be the young striker Patrick Ngoma, Bruce Musakanya and Lubambo Masonda.

“Although Ngoma is still playing in the local league, but I believe that in due time he will be making his way to Europe. This tournament will be a great platform for them to shine. I feel that they are on their peak at the moment,” said Phiri.

Bruce Musakanya was at some stage linked with South African teams such as Mpumalanga Black Aces and AmaZulu because of his work ethic and talent.

On the other hand Musonda is still trying to make his mark for Armenian club Ulisses.

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