Amajita name squad to compete in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup

15 May 2019 - 15:21 By Marc Strydom
SA Under-20 head coach Thabo Senong is lifted aloft by his players.
SA Under-20 head coach Thabo Senong is lifted aloft by his players.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

AS Monaco striker Lyle Foster‚ Leicester City midfielder Thakgalo Leshabela and Ajax Amsterdam forward Leo Thethani headline the 21-man Amajita squad named to compete in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Poland in May and June.

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Njabulo Blom‚ Portugal-based Kobamelo Kodisang and experienced goalkeeper Khulekani Kubheka of First Division Cape Umoya United FC are other notable inclusions in coach Thabo Senong’s South Africa U-20 combination.

The Under-20 assistant-coach Helman Mkhalele said the net had been cast wide for talent to make up the squad.

“This was not an easy process to go through given the fact that we had a very good list of talented players in our provisional squad [of 26]‚” Mkhalele said.

“We had constant engagements with our head coach during his selection process‚ and that enabled us to select what we regard as the best squad for the upcoming World Cup.”

Amajita are drawn Group F with Argentina‚ Korea Republic and Portugal. The top two teams and four best runners-up from six groups reach the last-16.

“We already had a look at our upcoming World Cup opponents and we already know how they are going to approach their group fixtures‚” Mkhalele said.

“Our preparation camp was centred around assembling a squad that would be able to match our Group F opponents and possibly fight to progress into the knockout stages.

“This is going to require a whole lot of hard work. However‚ I believe that we have assembled a squad that has the right attitude and mindset to do just that.”

Amajita qualified finishing third at the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Niger in February.

Argentina qualified as the runners-up of the 2019 South American U-20 Championship‚ South Korea finished second at the 2018 Asia U-19 Championship‚ and Portugal won the 2018 European U-19 Championship.

SA U-20 World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers:

Khulekani Kubheka (Cape Umoya FC)‚ Kopano Thuntsane (Pele Pele FC)‚ Glen Baadjies (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders:

Thabo Moloisane (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Keenan Abrahams (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Givemore Khupe (Cape Umoya FC)‚ Keenan Phillips (Bidvest Wits)‚ Fezile Gcaba (Pele Pele FC)‚ Malebogo Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Sibusiso Mabiliso (AmaZulu)

Midfielders:

Siphesihle Mkhize (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Oswin Appolis (Supersport United)‚ Promise Mkhuma (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Njabulo Blom (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Luvuyo Phewa (Real Kings)‚ Kobamelo Kodisang (AD Sanjoanense‚ Portugal)‚ Luke Le Roux (SuperSport United)

Forwards:

Leo Thethani (Ajax Amsterdam‚ Netherlands)‚ Thabiso Monyane (Pele Pele FC)‚ Lyle Foster (AS Monaco‚ France)‚ Thakgalo Leshabela (Leicester City‚ England)

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