Head coach of the Burger King-sponsored South African u20 Men’s National Team, Thabo Senong, admits that he faces a great challenge to pick the best 21 players to represent the country at the FIFA u20 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea.
The tournament runs from 20 May – 11 June 2017.
Senong is fresh from his Bafana Bafana duties where he is one of the assistant coaches. He has wasted no time in turning all his attention on the upcoming football showpiece, which will be held in six different cities.
Amajita, whose first objective is to get out of the group, will be based in Suwon for their Group D clashes against Japan, Italy and Uruguay.
Senong says he has a difficult task ahead of him in selecting their final team but insists he will keep the core of the squad. Most of the players have been together for the past year.
“Continuity is key. We have been with most of these players for the last 12 months or so, and when we select the final team we need not start from scratch. Most of them have been playing together for some time and I can confirm now that we are facing a huge challenge to select the 21 players needed for the tournament,” said Senong.
“At the same time, I believe we have a squad that can compete. We are still monitoring some local as well as overseas-based players because the door is not yet closed on anyone, and you may find a surprise.”
Senong added that they want to take it game by game at the tournament.
“I strongly believe we have the potential to go far in the World Cup, and I hope the players have enough confidence in themselves to believe it. We will take it day by day and focus on each game as it comes. The boys have really grown tactically and mentally in the past year and we would like to make this a World Cup to remember. The intention is to be in South Korea two weeks before the start of the tournament so we can adapt to the conditions and time zones as quickly as possible,” added Senong.