Amajita without key overseas-based stars for Under-20 Championships in Zambia

28 November 2018 - 14:35 By Tiisetso Malepa
SA Under-20 head coach Thabo Senong wants his Amajita team to qualify for the World Cup.
SA Under-20 head coach Thabo Senong wants his Amajita team to qualify for the World Cup.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

SA Under-20 national team coach Thabo Senong will be without three of the five overseas-based players he called up in his 28-man provisional squad this week due to commitments to their respective European clubs.

Amajita are in camp in Germiston in the east of Johannesburg preparing for the Cosafa Under-20 Championships in Zambia.

The Cosafa Under-20 defending champions Amajita are in Group B; and will lock horns with Namibia‚ Mauritius and Swaziland in pursuit of reaching this year’s tournament final.

The tournament will run from December 2 to 14 in Kitwe.

Senong called Borussia Dortmund playmaker Tashreeq Matthews‚ Schalke 04 defender Bradley Cross‚ Vitoria Setubal goalkeeper Buhle Damane‚ Sanjoanense winger Kobamelo Kodisang and Ajax Amsterdam centre-back Dean Solomons.

Amajita depart for Zambia on Friday and will do so without Cross‚ Kodisang and Solomons who have failed to report for camp.

“All the overseas teams will only complete their fixtures on the 16th of December so it’s always hard‚” said Senong.

“Kobamelo Kodisang won’t make it because he has to honour his club fixtures but he will make it in the Caf Under-20 Championships in Niger next year.

“Bradley Cross as well won’t be able to make it because of the fixtures and their club commitments. Dean Solomons as well from Ajax Amsterdam won’t be able to make it.”

Senong said he was happy that Portual based goalkeeper Damane of Vitoria Setubal was scheduled to arrive in camp on Tuesday while Dortmund’s Matthews will only be released after a Uefa Champions League match on Wednesday.

“We are obviously defending the cup but it won’t be easy but we are also looking at this tournament as preparations for the Afcon next year. We are working hard to build a strong team‚” said Senong.

The Amajita squad consists of players from the Absa Premiership‚ the SAB League‚ ABC Motsepe League‚ Multichoice Diski Challenge and the National First Division.