Amajita upbeat over German tourney
Mapidima "Bally" Smart has promised to make an impressive debut for the national Under-20 squad, alias Amajita, in a 5-aside DaimlerChrysler Football Tournament in Germany this weekend.
The 24-team event kicks off on Friday in Stuttgart and the final will be the next day.
Amajita leave for Germany today and it will be the third time that they compete in the yearly indoor competition. They came eighth last year and 12th in 2005.
But Smart is convinced they can win the tournament this time round.
"We are all psyched up and are looking forward to hoist the South African flag high with pride in this tourney this year," the 18-year-old told Sowetan yesterday.
Smart, who hails from Polokwane, is plying his trade in England where he plays for First Division side Norwich City.
He sees his inclusion in Amajita as a stepping stone to playing for Bafana Bafana.
"It is every player's wish to play for his country's senior national squad and I'm keen to see myself representing my country in the World Cup in 2010," added the talented linkman.
Wiston "General" Marumo, pictured, the Amajita team manager, echoed Smart's optimism.
"We are ready and raring to go for the event in Germany and I can tell you that we have enough in our arsenal to cause an upset in this tourney," Marumo said yesterday.
Coach Serame Letsoaka has drafted in capable players who can come back home smiling.
His squad includes Moroka Swallows forward Thulani Ngcepe and University of Pretoria's George Maluleka.
The squad: Goalkeepers - Igshaan Nazeer, Blessing Makhathini; Defenders - Tlou Molekwane, Sibusiso Mxoyane,Thulani Hlatswayo; Midfielders - Kamogelo Mokotjo, Philani Khwela, Thulani Serero; Strikers - Maluleka, Smart, Kermit Erasmus, Ngcepe.