Zesco are no pushovers – Freddie Mwila

“Zesco United are a very tough opponent,” former Zambia midfield star, Freddie Mwila, says about Kaizer Chiefs’ opponent in a CAF Confederation Cup clash on Sunday. “They are physically strong and like to move the ball around at speed.”

Mwila played in the late sixties and early seventies with Chiefs Chairman, Kaizer Motaung for Atlanta Chiefs in the American NASL. “Kaizer was a fantastic player,” the Zambian confirms, “who was not only technically gifted, he also scored a lot of goals.” Then, he adds, with a smile, “I gave him all the goals he scored, I provided the assists.”

After his playing days, Mwila coached clubs in Zambia, Botswana and was also in charge of Qwa Qwa Stars for the 1997/1998 season.

He tries to watch every Kaizer Chiefs game – the club’s matches are usually shown on TV in Zambia.

“I like Willard Katsande,” the Zambian continues. “He’s like a terminator, he’s very committed.” Other Glamour Boys he likes to watch are George Maluleka and Khama Billiat.

Zesco United won the Zambian league title in 2018. The league hasn’t started yet in Zambia, which means that Zesco are in pre-season.

They became in 2009 the first Zambian club to qualify for the African Champions League’s group stage.

Zesco United reached the semi-final of the 2016 edition, only to lose over two legs against Mamelodi Sundowns that accordingly went on to win the Champions League that year. Khama Billiat scored for the Brazilians in the first leg played in Zambia, which the home side won 2-1.

Zesco United are a very difficult team to beat at home, at their Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola. They were unlucky to be drawn to Congolese side, TP Mazembe in this year’s CAF Champions League play-off round. They lost and that’s why they moved to the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round.

“They are far from pushovers,” Mwila concludes, before giving some advice. “The players should take their six-studs with them, because if it rains in Ndola it really pours.”

Chiefs face Zesco United at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in the first leg of the CAF Confederation play-off round on Sunday, 13 January. Kick-off is at 15:00, Zambian and South African time.

The second leg will take place at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 19 February. Kick-off is at 20:00.