Head coach of the South African Men’s Under-20 National Team (Amajita) Thabo Senong is excited about the two friendly matches his charges will play as part of preparations for the upcoming 2015 African U-20 Championship. The 19th edition of the tournament will take place in Senegal from 8-22 March 2015. The South Africans will have to ward off the challenge of Ghana, Mali and Zambia in Group B to reach the semi-finals, which guarantees them a spot in the 2015 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup tournament scheduled for May in New Zealand.
Hosts Senegal is in Group A with Nigeria, Congo and Cote d’Ivoire. Amajita are in Port Elizabeth to continue preparations for that tournament. This afternoon (Thursday, 19 February) they face an Invitational squad from the Nelson Mandela Bay area. The clash takes place at the Isaac Woolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Kickoff is at 15:00.
‘We are hoping that the boys will give us a competitive match as we enter the final phase of our preparations. We will then be in a position to measure our performance as individuals and as a group. This is a very important match as it will assist us with our way forward in terms of our needs, so we can maximise our strong points and improve on our weaknesses,’ said Senong. Amajita, who are leaving for Senegal next week, will also play a farewell match on Sunday, 22 February at the same venue. Kickoff is also at 15:00.
Senong has appointed Madisha Modjeka as the interim captain of the squad with Ayabulela Konqhobe as the vice captain. A permanent captain will be appointed after the selection of the final 21-man squad next week.