31July 2017 – As hard as it may be for him to admit that his side could not make the semifinals of the SAFA/SAB U21 National Championships, Limpopo coach Jabulani Mhlaba is thrilled that his team had a chance to compete with the best in the country.
Limpopo failed to get out of Group A, where Gauteng and Mpumalanga were the two sides that booked spots in the last four.
The last three seasons have not good for the men from the North and in all those tournaments, Mhlaba was part of the team.
Although he credits teams like Mpumalanga and Gauteng for making it out of what was a tough group, Limpopo coach said his side will be back stronger in the next edition.
“As a team, we will have to prepare better in the next year and try to go through the tournament looking for the best players. I believe we have what it takes to do well as Limpopo,” Mhlaba said.
“We saw that our players were responding well, but in terms of fitness, we were behind sides like Mpumalanga, who wanted this more than some of us” said the Limpopo coach.
Mhlaba also spoke about how the tournament has improved in the years that he has been involved, thanking SAFA and SAB for their continuous support.
“This is a wonderful platform. We have seen national team stars unearthed here.. There are also the regional leagues so you have to appreciate what SAFA and SAB are doing to improve the standard of grassroots football in the country,” Mhlaba said.