20 September 2012

Zambia/Mali: Mumba Declares Striker Ramsey Fit

ZAMBIA Under-20 soccer team head coach Keegan Mumba has described as minor the cut sustained by striker Noble Ramsey on the forehead during a training match against Ndeke Blades at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe on Tuesday.

The 24-member Zambia Under-20 squad is preparing for the 2013 African Youth Championship final qualifying round, first leg match against Mali to be played at Arthur Davies on Saturday.

Ramsey suffered a three centimetre cut on the forehead after an aerial collision with Blades goalkeeper Moses Chola whose cut on the upper right eye was grave and both players were rushed to Wusakili Mine Hospital.

Mumba said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that Ramsey was fine and scheduled to return to the team's final training match against MTN Division One North side Nkwiza that was scheduled for Arthur Davies Stadium yesterday afternoon.

"It wasn't serious, it was just a slight cut on the forehead. We expect him to be back this afternoon when we play Nkwiza in our last training game," said Mumba, who guided Zambia to a COSAFA Under-20 title last year in Botswana.

The Zanaco trainer said training was progressing well and the technical staff, which also includes Hector Chilombo and Chris Kaunda, was leaving no stone unturned.

"So far so good; everything is going on well. We are shaping up well; we are getting there and now we are working towards the starting line-up," Mumba said.

He said the team, which trounced Blades 6-0 during a preparatory match earlier in the week, was aware of the importance of the first leg against Mali in the junior Chipolopolo's quest to qualify for the eight-team 2013 African Youth Championship to be held in Algeria from March 16-30.

"We are not underrating them. I have watched them on DVD, they are a strong team. They have the physique, they have the height and they play compact football. We are working on getting a positive result, this is the last hurdle for qualification," he said.

Mumba featured two teams against Blades with the first squad, which looked like the main team, comprising goalkeeper Moses Mapulanga, defenders; Peter

Mulenga, Saulani Phiri and Mwila Mulenga, midfielders; Bruce Musakanya, Mukuka Mulenga, Lusambo Musonda and strikers Moses Phiri and Reynolds Kampamba.

"We are not reading much into this friendly but the movements. We are not concerned about the scoreline. What is important is that we want to improve our coordination. I think it looked positive. We created our lines and the mobility is there," he said.

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