8 May 2018– Head coach of the South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita), Thabo Senong, is confident that his side will do well against Mozambique when they meet in a CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique.
The first leg clash takes place on Saturday, 12 May 2018 at Campo de Ferroviaro da Beira in Beira City, Mozambique.
The squad assembled for camp on Sunday, 6 May and held their first training session on Monday (7 May) at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus.
“I am very excited with what I have seen so far, the spirit looks good and all we need to do is make sure that we are well prepared for the mission ahead. This is a very important clash as we want to qualify for the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations 2019,” said Senong.
“Mozambique is a very tough team. They have just had an excellent camp where they won some games. I went to go watch them when they beat the Seychelles 6-0, so yes we have to be physically, tactically and mentally prepared if we want to get a positive result away. We have players that are mentally tough to handle that pressure away from home. With a good result away, it will be easier for us to finish the job in South Africa.”
The second leg is scheduled for Sunday, 20 May at a venue still be announced.
The Amajita squad is made up of almost all the levels of South African football – the Premier Soccer League, National First Division, MDC as well as the ABC Motsepe League players.
“This shows that all tiers of South African football are really doing well. For us, our recruitment criteria is character and quality – if you are humble enough, talented enough, then you qualify to play for Amajita and that is what we prioritized in our scouting criteria,” added Senong.
“And then we have also roped in about ten players who were with the South African U17 Men’s National Team, because continuity is key. We have taken the players who worked with head coach Molefi Ntseki, promoted them and then eventually they will graduate to the U23 team.”
With 27 players currently in camp, Senong is expected to trim his squad to 20 before they travel to Mozambique.
The squad departs for Mozambique on Thursday, 10 May.
The AFCON tournament will take place in Niger from 24 February to 10 March 2019.
Eight nations will participate in the competition – and the top four countries will qualify as African representatives for the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup to be held in Poland.