Ahead of the second edition of the competition, the handler of the Copper Princesses is hoping that his team improved mentally
Zambia will be mentally fit to challenge for glory at the 2020 Cosafa Women’s U17 Cup, according to coach Kaluba Kangwa.
The Copper Princesses missed out on a place in the final but settled for the bronze after defeating Botswana 3-0 in the third-place match in the inaugural edition held last year in South Africa.
In the build-up, they have since begun camp preparations three weeks ago ahead of battle with hosts South Africa, Comoros, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania in this year’s edition.
While discussing his side’s readiness, the tactician is confident his players will be ready in time for the competition scheduled to be held from November 4-14 in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Mental strength is what we want them to have but definitely we know that the days are very little, especially dealing with young ones,” Kangwa told ZamFoot.
“Our key focus now is to make sure that we strengthen specific departments of the team, from the goalkeeping to defence, midfield and attack, and perhaps the general coordination of the entire team.
“There is that difference [in terms of fitness] between those who have been with us because they know what it takes and they still have those elements of fitness around them. The fitness levels will continue improving and improving.”
Zambia are the second Southern Africa side to compete at the Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup after South Africa following their appearance at the 2014 edition in Costa Rica.
Despite being poised to guide his side to success, insists his priority remains the development of the players.
“We are going to be ready for the challenges ahead. Remember that our first priority as U17s at every event is to make sure that we make the progression for the players,” he continued.
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.
“This goal is to make sure that we mould a team 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 U20 and senior team, they would have been strong champions at heart here.”
Zambia will open their campaign against South Africa at The Oval on November 4 and take on Tanzania two days later before squaring up against Comoros and Zimbabwe.