15 July 2017 – The South African U-17 Men’s National Football team (Amajimbos), are back in action for the first time in 2017, as they prepare to embark on building the next generation of South African talent.
Amajimbos Head Coach Molefi Ntseki; who has done tremendous work in the implementation of SAFA’s Vision 2022 strategy which is currently five years away from target, is excited at building the next generation of international footballers, and believes that the experience he has gained over the past few years will play a huge role on what will be an emotional journey.
“This is an exciting period for Amajimbos, because we are embarking on building players who will only be known about in the next six to seven years.
To a certain extent this period is also an emotional one, because I look back to 2014, when we started building what will now become the next South African Olympic team and marvel at how Vision 2022 is coming together;” said Ntseki.
The South African U17 Men’s National Football team is in camp preparing for the 2017 COSAFA Cup, which will be hosted by Mauritius from 21 – 30 July 2017. Amajimbos won silver at last year’s edition, after losing 5-4 on penalties to Namibia in the final.
Head Coach Molefi Ntseki will select players born in the year 2002, and use this strategy to build a core squad to represent Amajimbos for the next two years.
“We have had two good training sessions and are grateful to all the academies for releasing all the players we requested. We are still in the introduction phase, as we are still identifying players’ natural positions and trying to get them out of their shells.
Yesterday we allowed them to play their normal football, without putting any pressure from them. We allowed them to fell the dream of being in national colours and the technical team got to see some their strengths and weakness; however today we had to shift focus and start working on the objectives”; said Ntseki.
Ntseki has always played a very huge role in the development structures of many footballers over the years, and has always managed to unearth characteristics in players who have gone on to flourish in the careers.
“This year we have selected players born in the year 2002 and they are in their developmental phase. They are at a tender age of fifteen, and it is very important for us to build future stars.
We have chosen players in this age group as a strategy to mould them from young. We have identified a pool of players who will most likely represent Amajimbos from this 2017 COSAFA Cup; which we are currently preparing for; to the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup; said Ntseki.
Amajimbos currently have 30 players in camp, where selections have been taking place over the weekend, ahead of the 2017 U17 COSAFA Cup. Head Coach Molefi Ntseki will name 21 players on Sunday, 16 July 2017, who will represent South Africa in the regional tournament.
Amajimbos will then continue their training sessions in Johannesburg, before heading to Port Louis, Mauritius for the regional showpiece.