16 October 2018 –South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) coach Thabo Senong has already started with the process of monitoring players to bring into his squad building up to this year’s COSAFA Under-20 Championship.
Senong, alongside his technical staff consisting of Bafana Bafana legend Helman Mkhalele and video analyst Tiro van Rooyen, started with the scouting process shortly after he completed his Master in Coaching course at the Johan Cruyff Institute in The Netherlands the previous month.
The selected Amajita players will report for a selection camp on 20 November before they travel to Zambia for the upcoming Southern regional football tournament set to take in Zambia from 2 – 14 December 2018.
The Amajita coach also stated that fighting to defend their Cosafa title in this year’s Zambia edition, will play a key role in getting his charges ready for next year’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament set to take place in Niger.
“There are two things that have to be achieved in this upcoming COSAFA tournament,” Senong said. “The first one is to make sure that we are well prepared for it so that we can get the best performance out of our players. The second one is to make sure that we give it our utmost best to try and defend our title. That will sever as a great morale boaster leading up next year’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations Niger edition.”
Next year’s AFCON Niger edition will also double up as a FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifier, where top four finishers will earn their place in the global football showpiece set to take place in Poland later in that very year.
Senong also stated that he was pleased that the AFCON Under-20 tournament was moved from the month of March to February, adding that most participating teams would have struggled with the heat in Niger, during the month of March.
“Niger is extremely hot during the month of March,” Senong said. “It was a good idea from the organisers to move it into to the month of February because (it is not that hot in that month). The plan is to arrive there early so that our players can get enough time to adapt to the weather conditions there before the tournament starts.
“If we can manage that, then I truly believe that we stand a good chance of doing well there.”