Chipolopolo trainer Herve Renard says his squad can compete against the best that Africa can throw at his assemblage.
“We can play against anybody. We can compete against anyone,” Renard spoke to faz.football.com in Johannesburg on Tuesday
Renard added: “We have worked very hard these past weeks and the squad is ready for any competitor. We are focused, disciplined and working hard. We are in the final phase and now we have our final 23.”
On his return to begin a second spell as Chipolopolo boss, Renard inherited a squad that looked a pale shadow of the shinning team of Angola 2010; a team which ended the country’s poor run of never going past the group stages of African nations championships for over 14 years – a time which spanned from 1996 when Kalusha Bwalya became the first and only Zambian player to win the Nations Cup golden boot award with five goals as Zambia finished third after beating Ghana Black Stars 1-0 to finish third at South Africa 96.
Looking back at Angola 2010 and the next finals, Renard: “As we are today, we’re now getting to a state where we are better than we were in Angola. You can see it in the squad and when you watch the players in action, you can see the commitment, hard work, determination and commitment. We will be competitive and be ready to play anybody. We are better than we were in Angola.”
Renard unveiled his 23 man squad Monday night. Thomas Nyirenda failed to make the cut with a nagging knee injury while Given Singuluma and Justine Zulu miss out on the biggest African soccer football fest.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene, Kalililo Kakonje and Joshua Titima.
Defenders: Joseph Musonda, Francis Kasonde, Nyambe Mulenga, Stophira Sunzu, Hichani Himoonde, Chintu Kampamba and Davies Nkausu.
Midfielders: Rainford Kalaba, Isaac Chansa, Nathan Sinkala, Noah Chivuta, Clifford Mulenga, Felix Katongo, Christopher Katongo and Chisamba Lungu.
Strikers: Emmanuel Mayuka, Collins Mbesuma, James Chamanga, Evans Kangwa and Jonas Sakuwaha.