SA U-17s head off to India tournament

The South African Under-17 Men’s National Team, Amajimbos, has been invited to take part in the inaugural BRICS u17 Football Cup which will be played from 5 – 15 October 2016 in Goa, India.

The venues to be used are Fatorda Stadium (officially known as the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium, situated in Margao, Goa) and the National Sports Stadium Bambolin (otherwise known as Bambolin Ground).

The tournament will feature the five BRICS countries – economic block formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and will be played annually. It will be played on the occasion of the 8th BRICS Summit.

Each edition will be hosted by one of the BRICS nations.

The aim of the tournament is to facilitate an environment for building stronger bonds of friendship and strengthening the relationship amongst the BRICS nations. The inaugural edition will also be used to create a vibrant atmosphere showcasing the Indian Culture.

On the sporting front, the idea for this historic initiative is also for India to achieve greater heights in the sporting world.

Head coach of Amajimbos, Molefi Ntseki has selected a squad of 22 players for the tournament. He is excited at taking part in the event.

“This is a good platform for our players and the country as a whole because playing in such competitions there are too many plusses that you get. There will be international scouts who will be watching, players will face teams from different parts of the world with different playing styles from South America (Brazil), Europe (Russia), Asia (China and India),” said Ntseki.

“Not forgetting the technical team being exposed to different philosophies to help them prepare for future tournaments. We did not do well at the FIFA u17 World Cup in Chile because we did not have these type of tournaments leading to the World Cup – if we had such an exercise it would have helped the coaches and the players to grow in the game.”

Ntseki added that the u17 National Team level is a very delicate period for players in their careers and should be exposed to such tournaments.

“At this level, this talent should not be neglected because I believe they have a very bright future. The BRICS u17 Football Cup will help these boys gain some international experience, taking into consideration the countries that will take part,” said Ntseki.

“The u17 age group is the first phase of international competition and this tournament will help them to graduate into the u20 National Team for the next intake – and that international experience will come in handy. Being invited to play in this tournament will also assist us to continue our vision of having players ready to play for Bafana Bafana come 2022.”
Amajimbos go into camp on Thursday, 29 September and will depart for India on Monday, 3 October.

The South Africans are expected back in the country on Monday, 17 October.