Posted by Equatorial Guinea Online – www.equatorialguineaonline.com
The 28th Orange Africa Cup of Nations will offer a platform for big name players to cement their reputations some will be reviving their fading fortunes and better still new stars will be born and introduced to the world of football, thanks to this big stage.
The history of the tournament is littered with players who chose to announce their arrival at international football at the finals. Their names have as a result remained intertwined with certain finals.
Whether it is Benni McCarthy displaying his goal scoring instincts at the 1998 Finals in Burkina Faso where he finished joint-top scorer, or Mohamed Shawky bursting on the scene at 2006 finals in Egypt as did Bakari Kone at the same tournament in 2006, stars have been born at every finals.
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will have its own “new kids on the block” and in Evans Kangwa, Zambia might have found a top drawer goal scorer in the making. Should coach Herve Renard select him for his final squad for the finals the young man may go on to one such star.
Kangwa is striker for Nkana FC in the Zambian top flight league and has been spoken of in admiration by respectable coaches in Zambian football.
Kangwa was on fire at the regional COSAFA U-20 tournament held at the beginning of this month in Botswana. His seven goals not only won his team the Cup but made him top goal scorer and upon his return home senior team coach called him up to the side preparing for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea finals.
Kangwa made the 28 men team that is currently at a training camp in South Africa. Kangwa will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of another Nkana player, Dennis Lota who became a famous goal scorer and was outstanding for Chipolopolo at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Zambia finished third in that tournament with Kalusha Bwalya ending the competition as top scorer with five (5) goals while Lota scored three (3).
Kangwa’s chances of making the final squad of 23 may have increased with the unfortunate news that fellow striker, Jacob Mulenga who plays his club football for Dutch side Utrecht has been ruled out of the finals due to injury.
Mulenga will need six months before he can play again. The striker has put faith in his Chipolopolo to mount a strong campaign and he believes Zambia can go far in the tournament.
Meanwhile Kangwa was quoted saying “Winning the player-of-the-tournament award was a bonus but that would not stop me from working extra hard and make it in the senior team.
I am happy that the coach has recognised me but that does not mean I should relax but rather work extra hard,” said Kangwa.
After his exploits in Botswana top South African side Orlando Pirates has shown interest in him, so it may well be the beginning of a purple patch for Evans Kangwa and the birth of a new Africa Cup of Nations star.