15 December 2017 – Under 17 coach Molefi Ntseki said the tournament his Select Side is taking part in Lesotho will help the young players gain invaluable experience.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be a Four Nation tournament comprising hosts Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland. However, Botswana and Swaziland pulled out at the last minute leaving Amajimbos and Lesotho to field two teams each.
In Friday’s opening two games, Lesotho A beat South Africa B 3-2 on penalties while South Africa A side saw off their Lesotho counterparts 1-0.
The final matches will take place on Saturday before South Africa returns home on Sunday.
“What these matches helped us with was the exposure and experience for the players. In the opening games, they were tentative but that is expected in one’s first game at international level. They need such type of games under their belt and one thing will definitely lead to the other,” said Ntseki.
The imposing coach who led Amajimbos to the FIFA World Cup in Chile in 2015 said it was important to expose junior players to international level at an early stage.
“For most of these players, it was their first time to be out of the country. That alone is vital for the growth of a player – being away from the comfort of one’s family and friends.”
The players will break for the festive season after the Lesotho games but will regroup after the New Year as Ntseki continue to look for a permanent squad and feasible combinations.