Kenyan camp for Amajita

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Though it may be a question of too little, too late, Amajita have secured a training camp in Kenya to sharpen themselves for the 2009 Africa Youth Championships finals.

While other countries are already preparing for the event starting on January 18 in Rwanda, Amajita are enjoying the festive season holidays - not out of choice.

They were reportedly informed by the South African Football Association that they couldn't start preparations early, allegedly due to a lack of funds.

South Africa will play against Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Cameroon and the hosts Rwanda in this biennial tournament.

"Amajita are off to Kenya on January 11 to wrap up their preparations for the tournament," said Stanley "Screamer" Tshabalala, Safa head of junior national teams.

"We had a meeting with Amajita manager [Winston Marumo] and coach Serame [Letsoaka] to discuss the plans around the preparations for Rwanda.

"This was after it was announced that the tour to Kigali was called off. Amajita were initially scheduled to assemble on January 8, but Serame wants them to meet earlier.

"Serame has asked for the camp to start on January 4, but the matter is still being discussed with the chief executive [Raymond Hack]. The coach is desperate to spend more days with the players. We are hoping the matter will be resolved before the end of the week.

"The camp in Kenya, which has been budgeted for by the association, will serve as part of Amajita's final preparations for the tournament in Rwanda.

"The team will also play friendly games against some of the top teams in Kenya. We are finalising the friendlies and will be able to name the opponents later this week."

Some of the Amajita household names include Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Phumelelo Bhengu, Tlou Molekwane, Daylon Claasen and Michael Morton.

Letsoaka refused to comment on their preparations for their Kigali tournament.