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Amajita coach Thabo Senong pained to drop players after naming FIFA U20 World Cup squad

Posted: 5 May 2017 Time: 16:37

Amajita coach Thabo Senong tells KickOff.com it was a difficult decision selecting the best 21 players to represent South Africa at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup.  

The Amajita squad headed to South Korea this year was announced at Burger King Maponya Mall in Soweto today by coach Senong, who admits he was pained to cut some of his players out of the picture in order to whittle the team down to the traveling squad.

READ: Senong names Amajita's World Cup squad

The coach looked to take nothing away from the moment, though, and said there was an excitement in the team that gave him confidence ahead of the world junior showpiece.

“We are very proud and excited that we will be playing in the best football showpiece tournament in the world,” Senong tells KickOff.com.

“And it was not easy to select the best 21 [players]. We worked hard as a technical team and the team is finally announced. This is the best 21 in the country and we are looking forward to the tournament and it will be very tough, but we will prepare and work hard.”

Senong also said the team had learned a lot from the CAF U-20 African Nations Cup in Zambia, where Amajita made it to the semi-finals, only to lose to the host nation and eventual champions.

“Of course [we learned a lot from the U20 Afcon]. We always have to be better, after every match you have to have learned something, as a coach, as players, so that you can always be better than your last performance,” he says.

“We just have to minimise the mistakes, we just have to make sure that our players don’t panic; we just have to make sure that we play our normal style of football.

“So that there can be progress so that we can be able to create more scoring chances and minimise the mistakes when we defend so that we don’t concede a lot of goals.”

Senong adds they hope not to disappoint the country in the U20 World Cup, and also thanked KickOff.com’s readers for their support.

“Thank you for all the support and we just wish and hope that they [KickOff readers] can continue supporting us. We will definitely work hard to make the country proud. We are fully aware of the challenges, but we also know that we are the ambassadors of the country. We will work hard to progress,” he adds.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup takes place from 20 May to 11 June in South Korea.

Article by: Makhosonke Zuma
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