Tovey justifies SA U17 humiliation

SAFA technical director Neil Tovey has sought to explain the recent humiliation of the national under-17 side at the COSAFA Cup in which they conceded ten goals in two games.

After opening the tournament with a 3-0 defeat to Malawi, Amajimbos, led by new head coach Veli Khumalo, suffered a 7-0 thumping at the hands of Zambia.

The result marked the joint-heaviest defeat in men's national team history for South Africa but Tovey feels there's no reason to panic after the shock results.

While the Bafana Bafana icon says he's yet to touch base with the technical team, he could only offer his outside perspective of their current struggles.

"This COSAFA Cup is not a qualification for AFCON, next year's edition will be," he tells KickOff.com.

"So we decided we'd use a younger age group that would be eligible for AFCON and the World Cup next year.

"Yes, we need to sit down and devise another strategy around the talent ID when they get back but this squad didn't have a long period of time together. But we'd be far more prepared for the next COSAFA tournament with a more experienced squad.

"The planning was not about winning the competition, but how to develop the kids to qualify for the major tournaments."

He added: "We're not interested in winning the tournament with a squad that would not qualify for next year's edition when it matters.

"It doesn't warrant the 7-0 or whatever situation but I'll wait for when they come back for an explanation. We are in a situation where we couldn't get all the players due to school, so there's a lot of different entities that goes into it that people don't understand.

"But the biggest thing is that the boys are much, much younger, they are 2004-born, even 2005-born, so we've given these 14 and 15-year-olds tournament experience and they'll grow up and learn from it."

comments