21 August 2018–Burger-King sponsored South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) coach, Thabo Senong has already marked out a plan on how to get his charges ready for next year’s Afcon tournament which will also serve as a FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifier.
The Amajita coach reckons that having a West African tour just before his side jets off to Niger for the biennial continental showpiece set to take place from 2–17 February 2019, will see them ready for the competition.
Only top four finishers of the tournament will qualify for the 2019 Poland FIFA Under-20 World Cup edition, and Senong said he has set his sights on the FIFA World Cup.
“We are planning to have a West African tour in the month of November before we head off to Niger,” Senong said.
“We are hoping to secure a few good friendly matches with some West African sides as part of our preparations. Having such matches will play massive role in getting our boys both physically and psychologically ready for a tournament which will just be a few months away.“And I say this because we have got six West African teams who have qualified for this tournament; the other being from East Africa (Burundi). Only South Africa is representing the COSAFA Region,” said the Amajita coach.
“No friendly matches have been confirmed yet, but our team manager is working hard to ensure we get those matches.”
Senong also added that featuring in the upcoming 2018 COSAFA Under-20 Cup as defending champions, will play vital role in getting his Amajita side into a level of competitiveness he wants them to be ahead of next year’s AFCON edition.
“The COSAFA Cup will play an integral part in our preparations leading up to next year’s AFCON tournament,” Senong said. “We are the COSAFA defending champions and we know that opposing sides will bring their A-game when they play us. Everybody wants to beat the defending champions. That’s just how football competition is like but that is what we want. I believe that is the type of challenge that will serve as a perfect platform to get our boys into the level of competitiveness we want them to be.
“Our dream is to qualify for next year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup,” Senong added. “And that’s why we have already started collecting as much information about sides we will be playing against already.”