Amajita eye Senegal championships after Russia exploit

2015-01-27 17:33

The SA football under-20 team, Amajita, returned to a heroes welcome today following their triumph in the Commonwealth Cup that ended in Russia last Sunday.

Team captain Motjeka Motjeka said they motivated each other to win the tournament – which was held for a week in Saint Petersburg – to boost their confidence ahead of the African Youth Championship that kicks off in Senegal in March.

South Africa beat Finland 2-1 in the final and they knocked out hosts Russia in the last eight en route to their victory.

Caretaker coach David Notoane said the bigger picture was the African Youth Championships that starts in Senegal next month, with another eye on booking a Fifa Under-20 World Cup ticket.

South Africa is in the same group as Ghana, Mali and Zambia and semifinalists will qualify for the global showpiece in New Zealand in May-June.

Said Notoane: “As a coach you try philosophies, tactics and methods – they come together and produce success. That’s what we aspire for.

It also makes one humble and say go back to the drawing because we can’t be carried away by this success mode we are in. The most important is the African Youth Championships to attempt to qualify for the World Cup.

When you touch the level of the world championships as a coach, that’s the top level of football.”

Notoane, who was assisted by Wendell Robinson, was in charge of the team on a temporary basis as the team’s new head coach Thabo Senong is currently with Bafana Bafana at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

Senong is the deputy to Shakes Mashaba and the two guided Amajita to the continental championships prior their elevation to Bafana.

Going forward, SA Football Association chief executive Dennis Mumble said Senong will take charge of Amajita upon his return from Afcon and Notoane will hold forth as the under-20 deputy coach.

Amajita will take a week long break before they return to camp on February 15 in preparation for the Youth Championships.

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