The 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, will help unearth the next generation of rising stars in the Southern African region!
The tournament will be staged in South Africa’s North West province from December 7-16 and brings together 13 of the region’s sides, as well as East African guest nation Rwanda.
Among the more eagerly-watched players will be young South African striker Khanyisa Mayo, the son of ex-Bafana Bafana utility player Patrick Mayo.
He was Player of the Tournament at the Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament earlier this year when he turned out for the South African national side.
Mayo also claimed the Golden Boot award with six goals as he led his team to the final, where they lost 3-1 to English giants Arsenal. Despite the disappointment of the final loss, he was still proud of his achievements.
“Being a top goal scorer, I wanted to step-up in this tournament to show that I can score goals for the country and myself, which I did,” he said.
“I’m so proud of myself that I got the Player of the Tournament. It means a lot to me; it’s an achievement that shows I can up my game.”
Mayo, who also represented South Africa at the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile, has been tipped as one of the hottest properties in the country.
He is now likely to play a major role for the Under-20 side at the COSAFA championships after what has been a whirlwind few months for the 18-year-old.
Mayo is contracted to top South African Premier Soccer League side SuperSport United, but recently had trials with leading Portuguese club Benfica.
He is waiting for an assessment of his performance in Europe, but just to be invited to try out as such a prestigious club shows the huge potential of the youngster.
Mayo’s rapid rise to stardom earmarks him as a player to watch in the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and he will certainly have his eye on another Golden Boot prize.
Mayo’s father Patrick played for Bafana Bafana between 2000 and 2004, starting out as a striker but later converting to left-back.
He played for Umtata Bush Bucks, SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs during his career in the Premier Soccer League and had the honour of representing the Mandela XI against the FIFA World XI in an exhibition game in Johannesburg in August 1999.