Senong upbeat for AFCON qualifier

The men’s national U-20 side are set to come up against the young Mambas in a second round first-leg clash in Beira on Saturday.

Senong is currently putting a 27-man squad through their paces in Johannesburg, but will trim the travelling side down to 20.

With places in the final selection up for grabs, the Bafana Bafana assistant coach is excited by the hunger and desire shown from his troops, and is confident ahead of this weekend’s trip.

“I am very excited with what I have seen so far, the spirit looks good and all we need to do is make sure that we are well prepared for the mission ahead,” Senong told

“This is a very important clash as we want to qualify for the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations 2019, and Mozambique is a very tough team.

“They have just had an excellent camp where they won some games. I went to watch them when they beat Seychelles 6-0, so we have to be physically, tactically and mentally prepared if we want to get a positive result away. 

“We have players that are mentally tough to handle that pressure away from home. With a good result away, it will be easier for us to finish the job in South Africa.”

South Africa’s top tiers are well represented in the current 27-man squad – in the shape of the Absa Premiership, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League and MultiChoice Diski Challenge – and Senong is delighted to have such a wide pool to select from.

“This shows that all tiers of South African football are really doing well. For us, our recruitment criteria is character and quality. If you are humble enough and talented enough then you qualify to play for Amajita, and that is what we prioritised in our scouting criteria,” added Senong.

“We have also roped in about 10 players who were with the U-17 national team, because continuity is key. We have taken the players who worked with head coach Molefi Ntseki, promoted them and eventually they will graduate to the U-23 team.”