Letsoaka a happy man

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Though he failed to assemble all the players he wanted for the African Youth Championship in Rwanda, national under-20 coach Serame Letsoaka is nonetheless happy with what he has in his squad.

The biennial continental showpiece runs from January 18 to February 1.

Letsoaka is encouraged by the arrival of Moroka Swallows duo Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Phumelele "Ace" Bhengu.

They joined the rest of the players yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya, where the squad is holding their final training camp for the Rwanda event.

"They arrived here on Monday night and trained this morning [yesterday]," explained Letsoaka from Nairobi yesterday.

"These players will give us the required depth in the team. It is good that I also have Thulani Serero from Ajax Cape Town, Kamohelo Mokotjo from SuperSport United and Bongani Sondlane of Kaizer Chiefs."

The tournament also serves as a qualifier for the world youth championship.

Letsoaka is grateful to senior Swallows' players such as Lefa Tsutsulupa and Fabian McCarthy for convincing coach Julio Leal to release the players.

"They pleaded with him to allow them to take part in such an important tournament."

Swallows were among the clubs that initially refused to release their players, arguing that the tournament does not feature on the Fifa calendar.

Letsoaka did not manage to secure the services of gifted Ajax's linkman Sameehg Doutie and SuperSport United's Masibusane Zongo, the December Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Month.

Amajita are in Group B, in which they will play against Nigeria, Egypt and Ivory Coast.