Micho calls up South African keeper


Zambia head coach Milutin Sredojevic has named a South African-born goalkeeper in his Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers squad.

GladAfrica Championship's Polokwane City first-choice keeper Cyril Chibwe has been included in his 33-man provisional squad that will host Algeria on March 25th before visiting Zimbabwe on the 30th.

Mwenya stands a very good chance of making the final cut as there are only three keepers in the team – Allan Chibwe of Green Eagles FC and Lameck Siame of Kabwe Warriors.

It is not the first time the Rustenburg-born Chibwe receives a Chipolopolo call-up though.

He was in goal when Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat stole the limelight at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, scoring twice for Zimbabwe to hand the Zambians a 2-1 loss. He also played in a friendly against Benin.

"I'm so happy, it's always a pleasure and honour to represent your country," Chibwe tells KickOff.com.

"Playing or not playing, but being in the national team is a big achievement for any player. I was not worried though when I was not included in the other squads because I know in football there's 'your time and not your time'.

View other players around the world who have dual nationality like Chibwe

"We were always talking and encouraging each other with the one who was in goals Sebastian [Mwange]. Coach Miche calls me to find out how many games I've played, 'how far are you guys'...

"We regularly talk on WhatsApp Call, checking my progress, how am I feeling, how is the team, how is my performance and how am I willing to grow. But he says we will talk more when I report for camp, because it's going to be my first time meeting him as a coach."

Mwenya admits playing first division football in South Africa puts him at a disadvantage compared to the other national team goalies who are playing in top leagues.

"Ya there's a bit of disappointment [in not finding a PSL team] but as footballers we need to honour the contracts. You can't burn the bridges by walking away from your contract," he says.

"Everything happens for a reason. So probably there's a reason why I'm here now. Yes, it's a big advantage because I'm playing in the Glad and there are those who are playing on the upper level. So it's only a matter of how I apply myself, and to impress the coach by playing according to his system."

Justin Shonga, Gampani Lungu, Augustine Mulenga and Nathan Sankala are also in the squad.

Zambia 33-man squad in full:

EXCL: Chibwe explains Zambia choice