Michaelson Gumede
2 minute read
9 Feb 2017
2:31 pm

Senong still trying to reinforce Under-20s

Michaelson Gumede

South Africa Under-20 coach Thabo Senong says that there is ongoing communication with clubs about releasing players for the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

Thabo Senong. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

The tournament runs from February 26 – March 12 in Zambia and Senong initially named a strong squad for the tournament including the likes of Bidvest Wits’ Phakamani Mahlambi and Portugal-based striker Luther Singh.

But it is proving difficult to get these players into camp – clubs are not obliged to release their players for this tournament.

“We have a big squad and we have a lot of players who are not (with us) at the moment. There are about 12 key players, the likes of Luther Singh, Grant Margeman at Ajax Cape Town, and Teboho Mokoena at SuperSport,” said Senong.

“There are a lot of players, but I don’t like discussing players individually. We are communicating and negotiating with clubs every day. We just hope that maybe in the next five days, we can just get at least four out of these players and it will just reinforce the quality that we have in camp. It will hopefully give us confidence and a strong team just to go and compete.

“It is a very tough assignment, we are drawn in Group B, it a killer group with Sudan, Senegal and Cameroon. It is not easy but we are in camp and we are working very hard. At the moment, we are working with a quality group of 26 players. We are looking forward to a good tournament. We are going there with hope the ambition to do well.”

Sengong was speaking as he took aspirant coaches through their paces during an SAB initiative held at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

“This is an annual event, it is all about coaching development, it is all about making sure that our talented players are coached by knowledgeable coaches. I am very proud and at the same time very humbled just to have been part of these courses. This is a C License course, it in entry level course,” he said.

“I am humbled to work with these coaches and share experiences, share challenges and discuss possible solutions in order to move our football forward.”