The national Under-17 technical staff last Sunday commenced selection and preparations of U17 players with an intensive training camp aimed at assessing boys who will make-up the Zambia junior team to compete for a place at the 2011 CAF U17 Championship from where the young lads will be expected to fight for a semifinal spot which would qualify Zambia to the Mexico 2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup finals.
After a initial trial period of one week on the Copperbelt, the coaches called to camp 38 players. The technical bench has hinted that they will continue to monitor as many players and will intensify their consultations with fellow coaches, cubs, academies and schools to ensure that they capture talent from across the country.
The coaches will then create two pools of U17 national teams with reserve teams from where they can fall back on.
FAZ Spokesperson Erick Mwanza said with selection and training done, the Association would then send the team to play a series of international matches to further prepare the boys.
“We have been talking to our colleagues in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and other parts of the world where we wish to send our boys for a series of friendly matches.
These are important for these young boys – many of whom have never travelled outside the country – because they will help them have a feel of international football. It will help them greatly because the exposure will put them in good stead for the qualifiers,” Mwanza told fazfootball.com.
“Over the ended week, we have been in consultations with our colleagues in Zimbabwe and we were trying to get them to get their boys training so that we play a series of games in Harare.
We are aware that the qualifiers are not starting until later in the year but we don’t want to leave anything to chance. We want to have strong teams by that time.
The Zimbabwe FA has indicated that they will not be ready this weekend so we’re now looking at playing these games over the coming weeks.
We should give details of dates and others once we’re done with the consultations. But the most important things is that the team is starting to take shape and the players are eager to learn and play.”