South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) head coach Thabo Senong has called in 34 players to report for camp leading up to this year’s CAF Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations set to take place in Niger.
The local camp will run from 14–19 January, where Senong and his technical staff will trim down the squad to 21 players before they jet off to Senegal to continue with their preparations there.
The Amajita coach said this camp will serve as a perfect platform to lay a tactical base of getting his players to understand what will be expected of them when they compete in this year’s junior biennial continental showpiece.
Amajita are in Group A, and will lock horns with hosts Niger, Burundi and Nigeria in pursuit of reaching the semi-final stages of the football competition.
A top four finish in this year’s Niger edition, will see South Africa book their place in upcoming FIFA World Cup set to take place in Poland later in the year.
“We brought in a big pool of players because there are a lot of things that we need to assess first before we trim down the squad to 21 players,” Senong said. “This camp will also serve as a perfect opportunity of laying a tactical base of getting our players to understand what will be expected of them when we arrive in Niger.
“Our goal is to see this team reach the semi-final stages of this competition,” Senong added. “However, we do not want our players to be stressing about such. Our goal is to make sure that they enjoy every single match they compete it. That state of mind always leads to positive results being produced on the field.”
As part of their preparations, Amajita will face Senegal on 27 January in an international friendly leading up to their first group match against Niger on 02 February 2019.
Senong said this friendly encounter against their fellow AFCON Under-20 participants, will play a key role in getting his side ready for the tournament.
Source: South Africa Football Association