Airtel Rising Stars champions (boys) Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) have roped in seasoned tactician Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana to boost their preparations for the forthcoming tournament in Nigeria next month.
The girls’ national champions Matindi Girls Academy are being drilled by pioneer women’s football star Maggie Chombo-Sidik.
JBF sports teacher Robert Munthali confirmed having sought the services of the regional football development officer for the South.
“We started nonresidential training on Tuesday at BAT Ground in Blantyre and we are having two sessions a day—one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
“We have engaged Chamangwana because he is a reputable coach with vast experience in coaching.
Munthali also expressed optimism that JBF will perform better than last year.
“I am confident because most of the players have experience at international level as they were part of the team that at BAT yesterday participated in last year’s event in Kenya.
“Even the new players are equally good and we hope to reach the final stages of the competition. There is a lot of enthusiasm and competition from the players,” said Munthali.
JBF’s key players include strikers Precious Msosa and Wongani Kuzisinga and midfielder Timothy Govati.
“The focus for now is on attack and building up counter-attacks,” he said.
JBF missed last year’s semifinal qualification by a whisker having finished second in their groups.
“Ghana finished top of our group with seven points and we were two short. Only one team qualified for the semis from each group.
“But we never lost a game having beaten hosts Kenya 5-1 and then drew with Madagascar [1-1] and Ghana [0-0].
Chombo-Sidik also said they have intensified their preparations at the academy’s ground.
“The girls are determined to give out their best and we hope to do well,” she said.