Chipolopolo Recall Excites Mweene
Recalled national team goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene will captain the Chipolopolo at the on-going Cosafa Cup that sees Zambia play Lesotho on Thursday.
Speaking to the FAZ media after the morning training session at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth, the Mamelodi Sundowns shot stopper said he was happy to be back in the Chipolopolo set up.
And Mweene says having won many accolades with the national team will not give him a sense of entitlement but rather aim to keep contributing to the game.
“It is always an honour to represent my country. It is always good to be back, there are some new faces, not too many of them. A lot of them, I know them, to integrate is not a problem,” he said.
He said the 2021 edition was special as Zambia were participating as defending champions.
“It is a special one because we are here as defending champions, we have to show that we are defending champions,” said the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winning goalkeeper.
“Some of us are used playing under pressure, which is what a professional player must do, if you cannot play under pressure, I do not know what you are doing in football. We always find comfort in where there is no comfort.”
Mweene said he was looking forward to help groom upcoming goalkeepers as he is in the twilight of his career.
“In the goalkeeping department, there are a lot of youngsters who have potential, and it is up to us as senior players and goalkeepers who are about to retire to encourage them and show them the way,” he said.
“It is not easy; you need to sacrifice a lot. Some of us cannot just leave, we must see that there is someone on or two. We need to groom two or three goalkeepers. It is not about Kennedy but the national team.”
On the tournament, Mweene has called for seriousness in the Chipolopolo setup to ensure that they start strongly on Thursday against Lesotho.
“There are no easy games these days because football has evolved a lot. For us it is to take one game at a time. You can see even the games which were played yesterday it is not easy, we just must focus and be disciplined and do what the coach wants,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we must play and win because we are the defending champions now. It will not come easy, but we have to work hard.”
He also said that returning the national team to the summit of the African game will not be easy, but everyone must work hard.
Meanwhile Mweene said he does not believe that having achieved so many things with the Chipolopolo should entitle him to special treatment.
“We must not take advantage of what we have done in the past at the national team. we acknowledge the respect that fans have for us. Personally, it is not a wrong call I made to come back to the national team, there is a reason why I came back,” he said.
“One thing I can say is that it is not about Kenedy but about the country, even going forward it will not be about me but about the country. The country comes first, that was the most important thing to honour the call up.”
FULL FIXTURES FOR ZAMBIA
8 July Zambia Vs Lesotho 12:00hours | Isaac Wolfson Stadium
10 July Eswatini Vs Zambia 15:00hours | Isaac Wolfson Stadium
13 July Zambia Vs Botswana 15:00hours | Isaac Wolfson Stadium
14 July South Africa Vs Zambia 15:00hours | Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Note: The matches will be live on SuperSport and streamed on COSAFA.TV