Captain Fantastic Mwepu Draws Inspiration from Predecessors
Newly crowned chipolopolo captain Enock ‘Computer’ Mwepu says he feels honoured to have started his era as skipper with an away victory in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Mwepu, who stars for Brighton& Hove Albion in the English Premiership told the FAZ media from Nouakchott before returning to his base that he was confident the work the team did in the build up to the back-to-back matches will help the team against Tunisia.
The 23-year-old midfield general says he does not take the captaincy lightly and will strive to repay the faith shown in him by the technical bench and players.
“I am really excited and happy, and I thank God for giving us this victory, me being the captain is not easy. The armband has been worn by many icons that I have looked up to, the likes of Kalusha Bwalya, Christopher Katongo to mention but a few,” he says.
“It is good that they (Bwalya and Katongo) wore number eleven, so for me it is not something that I take lightly but it is something that I can say I was born with.”
“Leadership is something that you have and show to the team and to everybody. I have taken this opportunity, it is a new dawn, it is a new group that wants to fight for one another, so I am happy to lead such a group.”
“Being a captain and a leader of this group, I believe that we have started on a good note and scoring a goal is something that has motivated me and the team and fans back home. I am really honoured, and it is privilege, and I will continue fighting for the nation and I will continue leading these boys until we qualify to the World Cup.”
Mwepu says although he will not be part of Tuesday’s home match against Tunisia in Ndola, the possible replacements would blend in as they were already part of the team.
“I am not sad that we will not be part of the team that will be playing against Tunisia. We have branded this team; we have done so many works together as a group,” he says.
“We had conversations and meetings so we have worked on the team, such that if one player is out the others that remain will still do the work. This is the new spirit that we have built.”
Mwepu and Patson Daka who play for English sides have been excluded from Tuesday’s match as Zambia is in red zone of Covid-19 global gradings.
Any visitor to Zambia travelling back to England is subjected to a 10-day mandatory quarantine which could rule the duo out of at least two fixtures in the English Premiership.
Mwepu was on target as Zambia recorded a 2-1 away win to Mauritania in the opening Group B match played at the Nouakchott Olympic Stadium.