Mkhalele challenges Amajita charges

The South Africa U-20 team have been invited to compete in a three-nation tournament, taking place in England from 30 August to 4 September.

Amajita, who last competed at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea in May, will face their Brazilian counterparts at St Georges Park (Field 3) in Burton Upon Trent on Wednesday. Kick-off is at 19h00 local time (20h00 SA time).

The next fixture sees the hosts taking on the South Americans on Friday at Greenhouse Meadow Stadium, Shrewbury – also starting at 19h00 local time.

Amajita’s second and final match of the tournament will be against England on Monday at Harrison Park Stadium, Leek, Macclesfield Road. Kick-off is at 19h00 local time.

Mkhalele has selected 20 players to participate in the tournament, and will be assisted by David Notoane.

The squad includes players that were part of the U-17 team, while defender Malebogo Modise is the only player in the group who was at the U-20 World Cup in Korea. He is also the only player to have been capped at Bafana Bafana level.

“This is a very important tournament for these boys because it will give some of them international experience. There is no better way of improving a player than having them play at this level so that by the time they get to Bafana Bafana, they have an idea of what happens at international level,” said Mkhalele, a former Bafana winger who was part of the 1996 AFCON-winning squad.

“When we got the invitation we did not hesitate because competition at junior level is key to development. If you look at the squad you will see that some have played at U-17 level and others at U-20, and we also have those that will be playing international football for the first time – this is a great opportunity for them and I hope they seize the moment.”

Striker Tyrique Bartlett, the son of Bafana legend Shaun Bartlett, is the only overseas-based player in the squad, and met up with his compatriots in London when they arrived yesterday morning. He is with the Newcastle United Academy.

The South Africans return home on Wednesday, 6 September.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Saint Georges Park
Burton Upon Trent
Friday, 1 September 2017
Greenhous Meadow Stadium
Monday, 4 September 2017
Leek Town FC
Harrison Park Stadium


Goalkeepers: Glen Baadjies (Mamelodi Sundowns), Phillip Lesoma (University of Pretoria).

Defenders: Keagan Allan (Bidvest Wits), Lesiane Mokgopedi (Sundowns), Brooklyn Poggenpoel (Old Mutual), Malebogo Modise (Sundowns), Dean Solomons (Ajax Cape Town), Lethabo Mazibuko (Orlando Pirates).

Midfielders: Bafana Tshawe (Jomo Cosmos), Tashreeq Matthews (Ajax CT), Siphesihle Mkhize (Sundowns), Luke le Roux (Stellenbosch FC), Duncan Adonis (Cape Town City), Ngcebo Nala (KZN Academy), Swelihle Mthiyane (KZN Academy).

Strikers: Tyrique Bartlett (Newcastle United Academy), Lyle Foster (Pirates), Sibusiso Shibane (KZN Academy), Dylan Stoffels (AmaZulu), Leo Thethani (Ajax CT).