29 January 2019 – South Africa’s National Under-20’s (Amajita) head coach Thabo Senong expressed his delight over his side’s team chemistry, adding that they are now looking sharper and stronger ahead of this year’s CAF Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations tournament.
Senong’s remarks comes after Amajita handed Niger’s professional league side, AS Police, a 3-0 defeat in a practice match which took place at the Babagi Military Camp in Niamey, Niger on Monday, 28 January.
Amajita have been in camp since 14 January preparing for this biennial continental showpiece set to run from 2 – 17 February in the city of Niamey and Maradi.
A top four finish in this eight-nation continental tournament will see Amajita qualifying for this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup Poland edition set to run 23 May – 15 June.
Amajita are in Group A alongside hosts Niger, Burundi and Nigeria.
Although Amajita did not get to play Ghana in a friendly as planned ahead of their group fixtures, Senong expressed that this practice match allowed him to see how far the team has come in their preparations.
The scheduled friendly between Ghana and South Africa was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.
“This was not a bad exercise for us,” Senong said, reflecting on their friendly match against AS Police. “The boys were challenged in that practice match, though they were a bit disappointed that they did not get the chance to play against Ghana in our friendly.
“Sometimes,” Senong added. “It is a bit of a risk to go into an international tournament without having played a single friendly match against another national side. However, I am pleased with the team chemistry and the overall performance the boys gave in that matchup.
“I still believe there is still room for improvement.”