The South African Under-17 Men’s National team, Amajimbos head to the Niger capital of Niamey confident of flying the country’s flag high at the CAF African Youth Championship which runs from 17 February – 1 March this year. The Molefi Ntseki-coached youngsters will jet out of the country on Saturday and will travel via Addis Ababa before settling in Niamey, the capital of Niger for this important tournament.
For Amajimbos, this trip will present an opportunity of a lifetime. The top four teams from the CAF Youth Champs will qualify for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile later in the year. But first Amajimbos will have to negotiate their way through a tricky path in Group B where they face African football powerhouses Ivory Coast, Mali and Cameroon.
The South Africans open their account with a clash against Ivory Coast on February 16 at the Municipal Stadium. Kick-off is at 15:00. Three days later on February 19, Amajimbos tackle Mali before playing their last Group B match against Cameroon on February 22.
Both matches kick off at 15:00 and will be played at Municipal Stadium. The winners of Group A, which consists of hosts Niger, Nigeria, Guinea and Zambia, will play the runner up in Group B while the winner of Group B will play the runner up in Group A. The Under-17 technical team had an opportunity to look at all the players in a friendly match against an Eastern Cape Under-17 Provincial team on Thursday which they lost 2-1 but coach Molefi Ntseki said the result did not count much as they wanted to have a final look at the team ahead of tomorrow’s departure, “The friendly match was very important for us because we managed to break away from the normal trend and was in a different environment. The purpose of the friendly was for us to get a chance to have a look at all the players hence there were eight substitutions at one go. The result was not the focus of the day but rather to see where we are ahead of our journey. We are in a tough Group but we are relishing the challenge. We have proven in the past that when the going gets tough that is when the best comes out of our boys.”
South Africa Matches:
16 FEB. SOUTH AFRICA vs IVORY COAST 15:00 at Municipal stadium
19 FEB. SOUTH AFRICA vs MALI 15:00 at Municipal Stadium
22 FEB. SOUTH AFRICA vs CAMEROON 15:00 at Municipal stadium