ZAMBIA Under-20 tennis coach Edgar Kazembe has expressed confidence that his players would be able to perform well on the new and immaculate court surfaces ahead of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games.
Kazembe in an interview yesterday said that while the new hard court surface at the National Sports Development Centre (NASDEC) that was handed over to the Ministry of Sport on Sunday might prove to be the biggest hurdle, he remained optimistic of a good performance from his players.
The four Zambia tennis players, who include two boys and two girls, on Sunday finally had a feel of the hard court that they would be playing on with Kazembe saying the players had some challenges but that the struggle was understandable.
"This court is kind of new to them, they have all along been training on a clay court surface and then the other day we practiced on a rubber surface. Today we are here on a hard court and it was a bit tricky but we will spend the whole day here today and tomorrow and that will be of great help," he said.
The players in camp are Jackson Kalaba and Mwele Chiwana in the boys category and the girls being Idah Lengwe and Caroline Zulu.
Kazembe, who is the regional champion, said that his charges were performing well in training and could be in line to bring honour to Zambia despite coming up with tough opposition from the other nine competing countries.
"They have been doing well in training and most importantly, I'm happy they are catching up, I know it will be a bit tough for them since they are coming up against international standard of play but they can do it," he said.
He said the four have had scanty international exposure but quickly added it was understandable considering they were under-20's with Kalaba having a feel of high level international competition when he went with his coach to play in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo last June.
Lengwe played in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament in Zimbabwe earlier this year while Chiwana and Zulu last tasted international tennis two years ago.
Kazembe said that all four were rearing to go out and bring honour to Zambia at an international tournament they will be playing in their own backyard.