Zambia youngster Miguel Chaiwa says being named in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) squad was a big honour for him.
The 19-year-old has been named in Avram Grant’s final 27-member squad and is part of the camp in Taif, Saudi Arabia. “It is a big opportunity for me, this is the time that I have been waiting for and have been dreaming of it. As a young player, it is a good opportunity for me. I have been working very hard and my target was to play the AFCON,” said Chaiwa in Taif, Saudi Arabia as quoted by FAZ media.
“I know with hard work it is possible to be with this team. You need to always work on your mistakes, always work on perfecting yourself and put God first.”
Chaiwa added he was unfazed by his age and will endeavour to put up his best in training to remain competitive. “Who plays is the coach’s decision but if I will be given a chance, I definitely grab it with my two bare hands because I have played Champions League (UEFA) and have played with the national team before (against Iraq and Mali) and know the level and what I am supposed to do because all those minutes I have played UEFA and the national team I have learnt something. For I would say it is all about the coach’s decision, if he gives me a chance I am going to prove it.”
The former Zambia U17 national team captain further urged the fans to support the team during the tournament as they will give their best. “Continue supporting us and always believe we have a greater team, we are capable of doing something beautiful, always encourage us and be with us,” said Chaiwa.
Chaiwa was captain of the U17 squad that qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021 in Morocco which was cancelled due to Covid-19. The Chipolopolo are currently holed up in Taif, Saudi Arabia as part of preparations for the 2023 edition (to be played in 2024).
Zambia will play a friendly match against Cameroon on January 9 in Jeddah before heading to San Pedro for the tournament. The Chipolopolo play Congo DR on January 17 before facing the Taifa Stars four days later and wind up their group matches on January 24 against the Atlas Lions.