FORMER internationals Linos Makwaza and Bilton Musonda have been roped to the national Under-17 coaching bench to assist award-winning head coach Oswald Mutapa as Zambia prepares for the All-Africa junior championship against South Africa.
But first for the two coaches would be a huge test in form of two friendlies that the Zambia Under-17 would have to play this weekend against their Zimbabwe counterparts away.
FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza confirmed the changes to the coaching bench and said this would help strengthen the bench and help Mutapa run the team better after running it along for some time.
"Bilton Musonda and Linos Makwaza would be joining the Under-17 national team bench to help out Oswald. This has been done to make the technical bench stronger. Team manager remains Greyford Jere," he said.
Musonda is assistant coach at Green Buffaloes while Linos Makwaza was relieved at Nkana with Sylvester Kasongo as team doctor and Ephraim Mpanza as the team physiotherapist.
The national Under-17 leaves today for Zimbabwe ahead of two friendly matches in Harare and Chinhoyi this weekend.
Team coach Oswald Mutapa, said in an interview after the team's morning training session at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka yesterday that the team was ready to face the Zimbabwe national team.
Mutapa said the team was in good shape and injury-free adding he was optimistic the young lads would put up a good performance in the games they will play on Saturday and Sunday.
He said the technical bench was using the Zimbabwe friendly to equip the young players who are currently preparing African Youth Championship qualifier against South Africa next month.
He said the team would play their first game at Ngwanzura Stadium in Harare while the second would be played at Mbizo Stadium.
"These friendly matches are important to the young players as it will give international exposure to the players as they prepare for the Africa Youth championship qualifiers against South Africa next month," Mutapa said.
The players to leave for Zimbabwe include Mangani Banda, Timothy Sakala, Simon Nkandu, Boyd Mkandawire, Barnabas Mumba, Emmanuel Mumba, Patrick Ngoma, Charles Zulu, Aaron Kabwe, Juma Mutale, Crispin Sakulanda, Marvin Kasenzi and Kapota Kayawe.
Others are Shadreck Chimanya, Mathews Sichone, Denicious Sikazwe, Paul Phiri, Jonathan, Lukwandu, Peter Mwanalushi, Spencer Sautu, Patricks Thole, Kingsley Mukuka, Chibuye Mulilo, Langson Mbewe.