By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIA national women team coach Bruce Mwape has urged the Copper Queens not to be disturbed by the cancellation of the crucial friendly match against Great Britain.
In an interview after yesterday’s morning training session at Heroes Stadium, Mwape said there is need for the girls to remain focused ahead of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to kick off next month in Japan.
Mwape said the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the team which will have to stick to local friendly games to prepare for the games in Japan.
Mwape who is still hopeful of international friendly matches said the team was determined to begin the Olympic Games on a positive note by winning their first game against The Netherlands.
“I am sure that before we start the tournament, we will be able to play one or two friendlies when we get to Tokyo. We should get ready for the tournament especially the first game against The Netherlands and if we can manage to win the first game, we will be okay,” Mwape said.
Mwape is implementing an interesting training regime which sees his team play some training matches with male teams to increase the Copper Queens endurance levels.
The Copper Queens are in camp preparing for their maiden appearance at the Olympic Games which take place in Tokyo next month and as part of their preparations, Zambia was set to take on Great Britain before the match was cancelled last week. However, Mwape has continued to shape the team set to play a training match against a Green Buffaloes men’s team at the Heroes Stadium on Saturday.
Mwape said that the friendly with the male team is aimed at increasing his team’s endurance after the cancellation of the friendly against Great Britain.
Meanwhile, Mwape has disclosed that the team has challenges with the training pitch as Heroes is being prepared for the state funeral of first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda.
Zambia is in Group F where they will compete against China, Brazil and the Netherlands for the games slated to kick off next month in Japan.