The South African Under-17 men’s national team head coach Molefi Ntseki; who has done tremendous work in the implementation of SAFA’s Vision 2022 strategy which is currently five years away from target, is excited at building the next generation of international footballers, and believes that the experience he has gained over the past few years will play a huge role on what will be an emotional journey.
“This is an exciting period for Amajimbos, because we are embarking on building players who will only be known about in the next six to seven years," said Ntseki.
"To a certain extent this period is also an emotional one, because I look back to 2014, when we started building what will now become the next South African Olympic team and marvel at how Vision 2022 is coming together."
The South African U-17 team is in camp preparing for the 2017 COSAFA Cup, which will be hosted by Mauritius from 21 – 30 July 2017. Amajimbos won silver at last year’s edition, after losing 5-4 on penalties to Namibia in the final.
Head Coach Molefi Ntseki will select players born in the year 2002, and use this strategy to build a core squad to represent Amajimbos for the next two years.
“We have had two good training sessions and are grateful to all the academies for releasing all the players we requested. We are still in the introduction phase, as we are still identifying players’ natural positions and trying to get them out of their shells," the coach said.
"Yesterday we allowed them to play their normal football, without putting any pressure on them. We allowed them to fell the dream of being in national colours and the technical team got to see some their strengths and weakness; however today we had to shift focus and start working on the objectives."
Amajimbos currently have 30 players in camp, where selections have been taking place over the weekend, ahead of the 2017 U17 COSAFA Cup. Ntseki will name 21 players tomorrow who will represent South Africa in the regional tournament.