Fourth Sono makes a name for himself

Matsilele Sono, named after his father, was yesterday drafted into the Amajimbos team to play against Zimbabwe in an international friendly match in Pietermaritzburg.

The South African Under-17 national soccer team are using the game as part of their preparations for the qualifiers of the 2009 Africa Under-17 Championships.

Midfielder Matsilele junior follows in the footsteps of Eric (grandfather), Jomo and elder brother Bamuza, who plays for Jomo Cosmos’ senior team.

Bamuza also started in the Under-17 national side before being promoted to his famous father’s senior team.

Ironically, it is like playing in the middle of the park is a trademark of the Sono’s. Jomo also played in the same position and so does Bamuza.

Ronny Moroka, Cosmos’ development coach, described the junior Sono on the club’s website as a hard working youngster with potential to go places.

“Matsilele is a very good player, he has the skill and pace. Though he is a midfielder, there are times when we use him as a striker.”

Solly Luvhengo, Amajimbos’ assistant coach, said: “We are excited to have a player of Matsilele’s calibre in the team, but are not going to put him under pressure.”

The match against the Young Warriors is scheduled for Wadley Stadium in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday where an artificial turf has been laid. The meeting between the two neighbours will be used to officially open the facility.

The artificial turf was installed as part of a Fifa programme dubbed ‘Win in Africa with Africa’’ in which the world soccer governing body have funded the construction of artificial stadiums around the African continent.

Amajimbos are playing on the artificial turf against Zimbabwe due to the fact that the African Under-17 Championships finals will also be played on artificial surfaces in Algeria.

Coach Tebogo Moloi’s team is due to meet Malawi in September in the African Championships qualifiers over two legs after receiving a bye in the preliminary round.

In the event that the South African schoolboys conquer Malawi they will then face either Zambia or Namibia in the last qualifying round of matches before the trip up North.

The Young Warriors from Zimbabwe are also preparing for their qualifier against Reunion.

“We have called up 22 players who came into camp today at Milpark and will depart for Pietermaritzburg later on in the day. However, some players like the captain have not been called up due to pressing school commitments,” says Abraham Ndawonde, the Amajimbos team manager.

Daylon Hawel of Wits and African Sports’ Sanele Ngubane are some of the players expected to play a key role.

Zimbabwe is coached by Rodwell Dhlakama.

The SA team to play Zimbabwe is:

Goalkeepers: - Daylan Hawes (BidVest Wits), Abram Marosha (Harmony Academy), Sanele Ngubane (Africa Sport Academy);

Defenders: - Keorapetse Gaeadingwe (Platimun Stars), Jermaine Bowers (Ajax Cape Town), Sello Mahlaka (Africa Sports Academy), Xolani Mdaki (Wits), Garth Prins (Westridge), Kamogelo Ratau (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: - Sabelo Ngwazi, Thomas Serubarube (Pirates), Ayanda Mbatha (Maras United), Ishmael Stanfield (Ajax), Lebogang Moloto (Wits), Khulekani Khumalo, Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Menzi Masuku (Africa Sports Academy), Matsilele Sono (Jomo Cosmos)

Strikers: - Justice Nozozo (Africa Sports Academy), Itumeleng Ramakone (Kaizer Chiefs), Siyabetha Zuma (Nifa All Stars) and Zenzele Zungu (NRD Flotech FC).

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