New era for Amajimbos under Molefi Ntseki

2014-07-13 15:00

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Three editions of the CAF African Youth Championship have passed since a South African Under-17 team last qualified for the biannual continental competition.

Serame Letsoaka, the last man to guide the team to a run of success between 2005 and 2007, has backed the new national Under-17 coach, Molefi Ntseki, to succeed.

A renowned former development mentor, Ntseki begins a new era with Amajimbos with his first real test on Friday when the team kick off their qualifying campaign against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

Letsoaka, the outgoing Bafana Bafana assistant coach, said: “I have no doubt Ntseki will do well with the team.

“He used to provide us with some of the top youth talent that I used for Under-17 and Under-20 teams such as Tumelo Nhlapo [ex-Bloemfontein Celtic] and Keamogetse Wolff [ex-Ajax Cape Town].”

Ntseki, who turns 45 next month, said he would use his previous experience as a development coach, as well as spells as a deputy, to good effect in his quest to reach the youth championships in Niger next year.

“The Under-17 team is the right platform to launch my international career.”

He was speaking from Lesotho this week, where he was finalising his selection ahead of the Tanzania match.

“These boys have not played at the highest level before and it is the reason I requested warm-up matches before we leave.

“Their coaches at the relevant academies must also get credit for polishing their skills. They are quite a talented group.”

Amajimbos face Lesotho today?– who they beat 2-0 midweek?–?in their last friendly outing before they return home tomorrow.

Under Letsoaka, Amajimbos finished fourth at the Gambia championships in 2005 and qualified for the Togo edition in 2007, where they were eliminated in the first round.

The team will face Tanzania in the return home leg on August 1–3.

Progression to the third round by Amajimbos will set a date with the winners, who will be Egypt or Congo, in September.

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