Zambia’s Mwape explains logic behind Turkish Women’s Cup squad selection

The Copper Queens coach hopes to build a strong squad as he plans for the Tokyo Olympic women’s tournament in February

Zambia women’s head coach Bruce Mwape says he wants balance in his squad and has explained his reasoning behind his team selection for the upcoming Turkish Women’s Cup.

The Copper Queens manager will lead his ladies in Alanya’s invitational tournament as they hope to continue their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics women’s football event in July.

Following a third-place finish at the 2020 Cosafa Cup in November, the Zambians continued their build-up, with a 2-1 win against Chile and are now back in camp ahead of their first outing in Turkey.

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While reflecting on his side’s impressive comeback win in Chile, the tactician said he is pleased with the impressive form and mental focus displayed by his team.

“It is good getting back to camp in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics because the team needs to prepare well for the competition,” Mwape told Goal.

“Some of the positives we drew from the team’s friendly win against Chile was the tactical discipline of the players and the individual efforts as well as the goalkeeping.

“It is part of our Tokyo Olympic preparations and it will also help the technical bench to assess the new players.” 
In a 32-player squad, Hazel Nali and Mary Nwakapila, along with Prisca Chilufya, Ireen Lungu, who featured at the last Cosafa Cup were some of the notable faces left out of the selection.

Following the exception of some top players from his pre-tournament list, Mwape said he will keep a close eye on assessing his new players at the 10-day competition in Alanya.

“I feel that this is the right time to look at some of the new players that we feel can add value to the team,” he said. 

“So that we can have a pool of players before we select the final team for the Olympics.”

Zambia will open their campaign at the Turkish tournament scheduled to run from February 15-24 against Nigeria before taking on Uzbekistan and later Equatorial Guinea.

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