Young Zesco United defender Gilbert Tembo has revealed how impactful Jesse Were and David Owino have been to him since he was promoted to the senior team.
Tembo graduated from Zesco Malaiti Rangers and apart from learning a lot from the Kenyan duo, he has expressed optimism after the new coach Numba Mumamba promised to work with the young players.
“We are happy with the news that the coach is ready to give everyone a chance to prove themselves especially us young ones,” Tembo told the club’s website. “This is a team with a lot of experienced players but we also know there is a reason why we were chosen.
“The focus is to continue working hard and show the new coach that we can play at the highest level of the game.
“I have made a lot of friends here. I am actually close to [Jesse] Were and [David] Odhiambo. They have been advising me to work hard, to remain focused and to respect everyone in the team.”
When Mumamba was appointed to succeed George Lwandamina, he made his objectives open especially regarding the new players.
“My philosophy has always revolved around mixing young and old players. I can see there are already young players who are fighting to get first-team football,” the Zambian tactician said.
“I will give them a chance to play but they must prove to us they can play for this club by working hard and remaining disciplined. They will be given a chance to thrive.”
Tembo is among six youngsters who were promoted from various Zesco United feeder clubs in September.
Willard Nkausu, another graduate, said it is upon the young players to prove they can deliver.
“Personally, I am excited with the coach’s commitment to give young players a chance to shine at the club,” Nkausu said. “It is good news for the six of us and what is left is for us to prove we can play.
“This is an important opportunity for each one of us. I have learnt quite a lot from the little time we have spent together. I am growing both physically and mentally.”
The eight-time Super League winners have signed Bruce Musakanya from Red Arrows and Kelvin Kampamba from Nkana on two-year permanent deals, and ex-Green Eagles winger Lazarus Phiri on a year-long loan deal.
They have also confirmed the signing of David Molinga on a two-year contract after he left Yanga SC.
Zesco United will face Zesco Shockers in a pre-season friendly on Saturday at Independence Stadium before returning to Ndola on Sunday.