Title will be bonus: Letsoaka

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

National Under-20 team coach Serame Letsoaka said winning the African Youth Championship will be a bonus because his aim is to win the group stage and qualify for the Fifa World Youth Championship.

Letsoaka is confident that his 18-man team is ready to face Ivory Coast on Monday, Nigeria on Thursday and Egypt on Sunday in the group stage.

His team is expected to leave Nairobi, Kenya, where they held their final training camp, for Rwanda today to play in the biennial continental showpiece that runs from January 18 to February 1.

Amajita beat Kenyan side Gormahia 2-0 in their final practice match on Wednesday.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday from Nairobi, Letsoaka said: "The training went well and the boys showed composure and maturity, which is an indication that they will do well.

"One advantage is that we have played against all three countries in the Under-17 tournaments four years ago, so I have an idea of their style of play.

"We were able to correct our challenges yesterday [Wednesday] and now it is all systems go with an injury-free team," he said.

The South African juniors are in Group B with Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Egypt, while Group A comprises Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana and Mali.

The countries that qualify for the semis will represent Africa in the Fifa World Youth Championship later this year.

Amajita are minus Ajax Cape Town's linkman Sameehg Doutie and SuperSport United's Masibusane Zongo, whose clubs refused to release them.