Seeking to win back to back Africa Cup of Nations titles, Zambia's final preparations for the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals got underway at their Johannesburg 'home-base' on Thursday.
Since 2009, the reigning kings of African football have used Milpark in Johannesburg to prepare for Nations Cup finals tournaments as well as Fifa World Cup qualifiers. The base has become known as the home of the Chipolopolo.
"Everything in the team camp is ok and going according to our planned schedule. We are pleased that we have an excellent turn out. Coach Herve Renard and his staff are delighted that everyone of the Chipolopolo superstars reported in time.
The first session on Thursday morning was wonderful; you could see the hunger, desire and determination in the African champions squad as they went about their business in their first time together for next year's finals," FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza said.
"Because Stoppila Sunzu has a matter to attend to, he will not be in the team until after the weekend. Jacob Mulenga of FC Utrecht and Emmanuel Mbola of FC Porto are expected in the squad over the coming few days while Emmanuel Mayuka of Southampton should be the last to report at least 10 days before we commence the defence of our title against Ethiopia," said Mwanza.
Renard named a 26 man squad to prepare for the Nations Cup South Africa is hosting between 19 January and 10 February. Chipolopolo won her maiden Nations Cup last February in Libreville after posting an 8-7 post match penalty win over Ivory Coast after a thrilling final match.
Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene (Free State Stars, RSA), Kakonje Kalililo (Napsa Stars), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos),
Defenders: Nkausu Davies (Supersport United, RSA), Musonda Joseph (Golden Arrows, RSA), Mbola Emmanuel (FC Porto, Portugal), Sunzu Stoppila (TP Mazembe, DRC), Himoonde Hichani (TP Mazembe, DRC), Kampamba Chintu (Unattached), Phiri Salulani (Zanaco) Kasonde Francis (TP Mazembe, DRC)
Midfielders: Chansa Isaac (Henan Jienye, China), Sinkala Nathan (TP Mazembe, DRC), Njobvu William (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel) Chivuta Noah (Free State Stars, RSA), Kalaba Rainford (TP Mazembe, DRC), Lungu Chisamba (FC Urals, Russia), Mulenga Mukuka (Power Dynamos), Malambo Shadreck (Red Arrows), Katongo Felix (Primero Agosto, Angola)
Strikers: Mbesuma Collins (Orlando Pirates, RSA), Mulenga Jacob (FC Utrecht, Holland), Katongo Chris (Henan Jienye, China), Mayuka Emmanuel ( Southampton, England), Sakuwaha Jonas (El Mereikh, Sudan), Chamanga James (Dalian Shide, China)