U-17 national team assistant coach Charles Bwale says his bench is working hard to ensure that it picks only players of the right age for national duty.

Bwale told Fazfootball.com that the number of lads picked from the national talent search would be trimmed to 25 before the close of this week.

The first batch of players has been sieved after the first round of selection with 40 remaining camp.

Out of the remaining 40 the technical bench is expected to reduce the number to 25.

“Last week the number was overwhelming and there were about 50 boys so now we have 40. About 15 boys have to go for us to remain with a manageable number,” Bwale said.

“There is a lot of age cheating but we are carrying out the interviews with them. We are trying to eliminate those that are trying to cheat. If somebody has got talent but they are not in our age group we are going to send them away.”

He added: “We will work with only the eligible players. So we are not compromising on that.”

The selected lads will undergo MRI scan before heading to Mauritius for the Cosafa tournament.

Zambia’s first U-17 assignment is the Cosafa Championship in Mauritius where they are drawn in Group B alongside South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.

The tournament takes place from July 21-31.

For the 2017 edition of the Cosafa tournament players eligible for the competition must have been born on or after 1 January 2001. Each player must possess a valid passport containing his photograph and giving full particulars on the date of birth (date, month and the year). In addition, the birth certificate of each player must be submitted.