Cosafa Cup: Mamelodi Sundowns' Mweene defends Zambia return, calls for sacrifice

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Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene has defended his return to the Zambian national team for the July 2021 Cosafa Cup.

The 36-year-old custodian has said his return is not a bad move at all and added his achievements with the national before side should not entitle him to special treatment. 

"We must not take advantage of what we have done in the past with the national team. We acknowledge the respect that fans have for us. Personally, it is not a wrong call I made to come back to the national team, there is a reason why I came back," the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winning goalkeeper told Faz media.

"One thing I can say is that it is not about Kennedy but about the country, even going forward, it will not be about me but about the country. The country comes first, that was the most important thing to honour the call-up."

Zambia will start the Cosafa Cup title defence with a game against Lesotho on Thursday at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium and Mweene has called for sacrifice and focus despite the pressure defending champions always get.

 "It is a special one because we are here as defending champions, we have to show that we are defending champions," added the keeper.

"Some of us are used to playing under pressure, which is what a professional player must do, if you can not play under pressure, I do not know what you are doing in football. We always find comfort where there is no comfort.

"In the goalkeeping department, there are a lot of youngsters who have potential, and it is up to us as senior players and goalkeepers who are about to retire to encourage them and show them the way.

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"It is not easy; you need to sacrifice a lot. Some of us can not just leave, we must see that there is someone or two. We need to groom two or three goalkeepers. It is not about Kennedy but the national team."

"There are no easy games these days because football has evolved a lot. For us, it is to take one game at a time. It is not easy, we just must focus and be disciplined and do what the coach wants. At the end of the day, we must play and win because we are the defending champions now. It will not come easily, but we have to work hard."

After playing Lesotho, Chipolopolo will face Eswatini on July 10.