Mulenga hopeful of place


The last time the 20-year-old wizard went to the Nations Cup, in Egypt in 2006, he didn't play after getting injured just two days before the start of the tournament.

_quote "What happened last time made me mad because I was looking forward to making my debut at the Nations Cup,” he tells “Imagine travelling with the team and then getting injured just before the start of the matches.

"But this time around I have to play and I am certain that the Gods will be smiling on me. When you play at such a tournament, anything is possible and who knows, I could find my way back to Europe. I want to make the best of this opportunity because this is an international tournament that will be watched by scouts from overseas," he adds.

So confident is Mulenga of Chipolopolo progressing to the quarterfinal stages that he has even worked out where they will net points in Group C that also features holders Egypt, Cameroon and Sudan.

“We have never had problems with Cameroon, so I see no reason why we cannot win that game. I know we will definitely beat Sudan, while with Egypt we will have to fight hard for a positive result," reckons the left-footed sensation.

He has also overcome the disappointment that he went through when he was recently ignored in the 2008 Beijing Olympic qualifiers at Under-23 level.

"I was disappointed not to be selected for the Olympic qualifiers because I wanted to play in those games. But the coach made it clear that since I had graduated to the senior team, it was better that I put my focus there. So in the end, despite having not recently having played in the senior team, I was expecting the call-up for Ghana because I have been working hard here at Tuks."

Mulenga last played for Chipolopolo in June when Zambia played Chad in the qualifiers for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.