11 October 2019 — Expect nothing but a great fighting spirit in South Africa’s performance when they face hosts Malawi in their opening COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship Group A match on Saturday (12 October) at Mpira Stadium.

This is according to South Africa’s National Under-17 men’s (Amajimbos) interim coach, Vela Khumalo, who expressed nothing but confidence in his charges when asked how ready were they leading up their opening group match against the hosts on Saturday afternoon. 

This clash also counts as Khumalo’s first match ever serving as a head coach at this level, after replacing former Amajimbos coach Molefi Ntseki, who is now serving as Bafana Bafana head coach. 

Khumalo revealed that working with coach Ntseki played a massive part in helping him to grow as a student of the game. 

The match between Amajimbos and Malawi will kick-off at 14h00. 

“Working with coach Molefi allowed me the platform to grow as a coach,” Khumalo said. “In all the five years I have worked with him, not once was I undermined or made to feel that I was beneath his level in any way. 

“I must say that played a massive part in my development as a coach and I am eternally grateful for the lessons he provided me with. 

“And just looking at our preparations for this match,” Khumalo added. “I believe that we have ticked all of the boxes in what we want to achieve in this tie. We will have our final session this after at 14h00 because we want our boys to have a feel of the temperature at this time of day leading up to our 14h00 match tomorrow.”

“It is all systems go now.”

In this group, Amajimbos are also pitted alongside Zambia and Eswatini. A top two finish in Group A will guarantee Amajimbos a place into the knockout rounds of this eight-nations Southern regional football tournament. 

Khumalo also stated that he and his charges will stop at nothing in achieving their goal of reaching this year’s final.