The COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship has been played every year since 2016 after a period when it was on and off the football calendar.
It continues to churn out a steady stream of new stars for the senior national teams, as evidenced by the leading scorers from the past four editions.
We take a look at where they are now ahead of the 2020 edition that will be staged in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay from December 3-13, and which also serves as a zonal qualifier for the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Luther Singh (South Africa) – 5 goals
Singh could not fire South Africa to the title in 2016 but has made good progress in his career and is now an established part of the Bafana Bafana squad.
At the time he was at Swedish second-tier side GAIS, but has since moved to Sporting Braga in the Portuguese league.
He has only played for the ‘B’ side to date there, but has had successful loan spells at top-flight sides Chaves, Moreirense and this season Paços de Ferreira, where he is a regular.
Now 23, he has a bright fixture in the game and will hope to help South Africa to the next Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Muhammad Shaban (Uganda) – 4 goals
Shaban is also now a full Uganda international and also had a spell at top Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the 2018-19 season.
To be fair, he had already been named 2016 FUFA Footballer of the Year before his arrival at the COSAFA tournament for the guest nation, so it was perhaps no surprise that he exceled.
He is currently with Vipers in Uganda, and was previously also linked with top South African club Orlando Pirates.
Lyle Foster (South Africa), Delic Murimba (Zimbabwe) – 5 goals
Foster is another star on the rise and currently plies his trade with Vitoria Guimaraes in the Portuguese league, who he joined from French Ligue 1 Monaco ahead of the campaign.
The 20-year-old is also spent last season on loan at Belgium club Cercle Brugge, and featured for Monaco’s first team. He is also a part of the new generation coming through at Bafana Bafana.
Murimba is perhaps surprisingly still in Zimbabwe with Triangle United, though he did have trials with top South African side Mamelodi Sundowns last year. He has also attracted interest from China.
6 goals – Ambrosini Salvador (Angola)
Viewed as the next wonderkid from the region, striker Salvador was the subject of a bid from Brazilian side Gremio recently that was quickly batted away by current club Primeiro de Agosto.
Primeiro have placed a US$5-million release clause in the contract of the 18-year-old, who is surely destined for big things and could return to represent Angola in this year’s COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships.