Mulenga links up with Chipolopolo
Dutch based top striker Jacob Mulenga has joined the African champions' Nations Cup preparatory camp in Johannesburg.
The highly rated FC Utrecht forward joined his Chipolopolo colleagues Saturday evening.
With Barclays Premiership side Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka flying in from his UK base on Sunday, Herve Renard will have the entire assemblage of the six highly rated strikers in the squad.
FAZ communications Manager Erick Mwanza told fazfootball.com that after the success of the past weeks' training sessions and arrivals of Mulenga and Mayuka, Renard is now set to name his final 23 to defend Zambia's crown.
"Going into the next training matches against Morocco and Norway this week, we have every player available. Since we set our base at our Johannesburg 'home' for the final phase of training, we've had excellent sessions. The players have been working hard and are focused on the assignments which will get us ready for the championship when we begin our defence on 21 January," Mwanza said.
"We are pleased to announce that as we enter the final phase which is complimented by international training games, striker Jacob Mulenga joined camp on Saturday and Mayuka is flying in Sunday."
"We're happy that we don't have injury concerns and the team is enjoying a clean bill of health. We will be ready for the challenge of SA2013."
The FAZ spokesperson encouraged fans to rally with Chipolopolo stressing that outcomes of training games should not disorient them.
"We know that our fans want to win all the time. We understand our great soccer heritage and the passion the people have. But there are games which we play and go into not looking for wins at all costs but to give the players a systematic run which helps build towards the championship. We should not stress ourselves so much about training matches and their outcomes. We're preapring well and we will ready," Mwanza said.
The reigning kings of African football open their campaign to defend the trophy they won last February against Ethiopia before other Group C fixtures against Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Zambia will be based in Nelspruit and if Chipolopolo win Group C, they will stay at Mbombela for the last eight as well as semis.