30 November 2022 – National Under-17 coach Duncan Crowie is happy with the way things have gone ahead of his side’s participation in the football competition at the Region 5 Games in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations COSAFA qualifier and the Under-17 Girls’ Championship get underway this week and both Crowie and Delisilwe Mbatha, the South African  Under-17 women’s national team coach, are raring to go.

“So far I am happy with the way the preparations have gone,” he said to www.www.safa.net.

The football competitions will be staged between December 1-12 and Crowie’s charges are in Group B together with Zambia, Mozambique and the Seychelles. Hosts Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and Angola are in Group A.

Mbatha’s charges are in Group A together with Malawi and Namibia. Zambia, Botswana and Comoros. 

“But like I said, I am happy with the preparations and the most important thing is for us as the technical team to make sure that occasion does not get too big for the players,” said Crowie.

“We have to ensure that the players concentrate on the soccer side of things and then I think half the battle will be won. But we will see how it goes. In football you never know what will happen next, but we will make sure we keep the guys grounded, focused and mentally prepared.

“Physically I think we are on the right track, and we are looking forward to this tournament.”

Mbatha told www.www.safa.net this week that they were determined to make the country proud.

“We are determined to go through the group stages and it would be nice to finish top in our group so that we face second-placed side in Group B. We want to go all the way and bring the trophy home,’’ said Mbatha.