The 2018 COSAFA Under-20 Championships are set to light up Zambia from November 30-December 13 in what will be the latest installment of the vital regional tournament that has been a breeding ground for so much Southern African talent down the years.
The tournament will be staged in Kitwe for the second year running following the successful hosting of the event last year.
South Africa won the title when they beat Lesotho 2-1 in the decider.
Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe have already confirmed participation.
Associate member Reunion have also confirmed participation; the first time they will take part in a COSAFA tournament.
Zambia will be keen to regain the title they lost last year, especially on home soil, as fans get to see the new batch of young stars from Southern Africa.
Stars like Clifford Mulenga and Isaac Chansa (both Zambia), Tinashe Nengomasha and Onismor Bhasera (both Zimbabwe), as well as Jimmy Zakazaka (Malawi), shone brightly at this level before breaking into the big leagues.
The tournament was first played in 1983 but only a few countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana were active in its formative days. It has since expanded to incorporate the majority of COSAFA nations.
Those early years were dominated by Zambia and Zimbabwe, each winning the title six and three of the first nine editions respectively.
The Young Warriors of Zimbabwe exited last year’s edition at the group stage after drawing all their matches.
2000 South Africa
2004 South Africa
2006 South Africa
2008 South Africa
2013 South Africa
2017 South Africa
11 – Zambia
6 – Zimbabwe, South Africa
1 – Madagascar