1 October 2019 – Vela Khumalo will coach the South Africa’s National Under-17 (Amajimbos) squad that will compete in this year’s COSAFA Men’s Under-17 championship.
Khumalo comes into the national junior set-up with valuable experience, having served with the now Bafana Bafana coach, Molefi Ntseki, during his stint as the Amajimbos coach.
Khumalo was alongside Ntseki when they both led Amajimbos to their first ever FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance back in 2015 in Chile, and also in the 2015 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Niger edition, where they finished second to Mali. They were also together at the Brics U-17 Football Cup held in India in 2016 where South Africa lost to Brazil in the final.
The coach said he felt honoured to have been entrusted with this responsibility, adding that he will do everything in his powers to make the country proud in the upcoming COSAFA U-17 tournament.
The Southern regional football tournament is set to run from 11 – 20 October in the city of Blantyre in Malawi.
“It truly is an honour to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the country’s football squad in the upcoming COSAFA Under-17 Championship,” Khumalo said. “I have learned a great deal working with a man like coach Molefi Ntseki, and I hope to apply every lesson learned into this new generation of Under-17 players.
“The upcoming COSAFA Championship is not going to be an easy one; however, we will do everything in our powers to fight for the title.”
In this year’s COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship, Amajimbos are pitted in Group A alongside hosts Malawi, Zambia and Eswatini.
Their first match will be against the hosts on 12 October at Mpira Stadium before they lock horns with Zambia two days later in the very same venue.
Amajimbos’ final group match will be against Eswatini at Kamuzu Stadium on 16 October.
Top two finishers of this group will automatically qualify for the knockout stages scheduled to take place on 18 October, both at Mpira Stadium.
All of South Africa’s group matches will kick-off at 14h00.