South Africa’s National Under-20 head coach Thabo Senong has named his 26-man squad that is to prepare for the upcoming 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Amajita will report for camp on 17 April, just two days before they fly to Saudi Arabia ahead of their scheduled two friendly matches against their fellow FIFA World Cup participants. Those two friendly matches will take place on 22 and 25 April.
Amajita will also take on Uruguay (15 May) and Ukraine (18 May), who will also feature in this year’s global footballing event, before the tournament kicks off on the 23rd of May in Poland.
Senong expressed his delight over the confirmed friendly matches, adding that they will give his charges the needed test to see how ready they are before the FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament kicks off. Amajita are in Group F alongside Argentina, Korea Republic and Portugal.
“We intend to use these two friendly matches against Saudi Arabia to lay a solid tactical foundation of how we want the team to play, while also getting the needed information regarding the readiness of our squad,” Senong said.
“We will also spent a minimum of two weeks in Poland just to acclimatize to the weather conditions there, before we fly out to Ukraine for our lined friendly match against them. Our friendly against Uruguay will take place in Poland. This (Poland) is where we will continue with most of our preparations for the World Cup because we want our boys to be both mentally and physically ready when the tournament kicks off. It is going to be a tough task; however, this is what we need to do make sure that the team is ready for the battle that is up ahead.”
Senong also stated that he and his technical staff have gathered as much information as they could on their Group F opponents, adding that they now know what is expected of them.
“We have sourced a whole lot of information regarding the teams we will be playing up against in our group,” Senong said. “Sides like Argentina, South Korea and Portugal are all good teams, however, it is a side which prepares and plans really well, that is going to survive our group. I believe that are a very good side as well and we will do everything in our power to perform well there.”
Goalkeepers: Khulekani Kubheka (Cape Umoya), Kopano Thutsane (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders: Thabo Maloisane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Njabulo Blom (Kaizer Chiefs), Keenan Phillips (Bidvest Wits), Nkanyiso Shinga (Vitoria Setubal), Fezile Gcaba (Pele Pele), Malebogo Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Givemore Khupe (Bidvest Wits), Keenan Abrahams (Ajax Cape Town City)
Midfielders: Jesse Donn (Ubuntu), Siphesihle Mkhize (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tashreeq Matthews (Utrecht), Luvuyo Phewa (Real Kings), Duncan Adonis (Cape Town City), Sphephelo Sithole (Belenenses), Promise Mkhuma (Mamelodi Sundowns), Leo Thetani (Ajax Amsterdam), Solomon Kunyedi (Bidvest Wits), Simphiwe Ncamane (TS Sporting), Luke Le Roux (Supersport United), Khanya Leshabela (Leicester City)
Forwards: Bayanda Shanagase (AmaZulu), Thabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirates), Jermaine George (Cape Umoya), Muzomuhle Khanyi (Bidvest Wits)