By MICHAEL MIYOBA
IT would be nice for me to partner with Patson Daka and a lot of young players who are doing well even in the local league, to help Zambia qualify for the AFCON, says 2012 AFCON winner Collins Mbesuma.
Mbesuma said he is still fit and strong to play and make a positive contribution at national team level.
Mbesuma who nicknamed himself “King David” has scored 12 goal for University of Pretoria FC which features in the First National Division in South Africa.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, the 2012 AFCON winner said he has always been available for his country and his experience would add
value to the national team as he would help the upcoming players to develop.
“I’m still running, I’m still kicking so why can’t I play for my country? If they give me a chance and say ok we need experience in the national team, I’m available for my country.
“I’m still fit and the last six games I played the whole 90 minutes after two days so if I can play 90 minutes every after two days, then I’m strong to play for the national team,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates legend.
Mbesuma who had stints in Portugal, Turkey and England where he played for Portsmouth said his passion for football buoyed with discipline is what has been driving him to score more goals for Pretoria University despite him being considered old.
“Discipline is very important and the more you get matured, the more football becomes easier and because of experience I’m enjoying my football,” said the 36-year-old striker who recently launched his football academy in his
hometown of Luanshya.
Meanwhile, Mbesuma reaffirmed his commitment to helping youths in Luanshya develop their talents through his football academy which is set to hold trials for young footballers at under-15 and under-17 levels.
He said it is unfortunate that young people in Luanshya are deprived of empowerment because of the closure of some mines.
“I just want to give back to the community. I came up with Collins Mbesuma King David Foundation and I thought I had to empower the youths through football because I grew up in Luashya, where I grew up there are no activities for the youths so I thought I can help the young ones through football,” Mbe- suma said.
“I came from nothing, I was just a boy from nowhere but I have been all over, in England, Portugal, Turkey and now I’m in South Africa so I thought of giving back to my community to help someone.”
He urged companies to work with the Collins Mbesumba Academy to help youths from Luanshya be exposed to football at international level because they will be able to travel to other countries for international youth competitions.