Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Amajita coach Serame Letsoaka reckons the long-proposed reserve league would have been the answer to many of his problems selecting players for tournaments.

"If I had my way the reserve league would have long been established," said Letsoaka yesterday.

"I was over the moon when Safa announced that there will be such a league for players who are not playing regularly at their respective teams. But we don't have it now and I should try to cope with the situation."

The mother body agreed to establish an organised youth league based on the recommendations of former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Perreira more than two years ago.

But Safa responded by establishing regional under-19 leagues instead.

Letsoaka's comments came after he was frustrated by Absa Premiership teams in releasing all the players he had selected for the recent African Youth Championship in Rwanda.

The under-20 coach has other suggestions though in order to avoid the disruption of his preparations for the World Youth Championship in Egypt in September.

"I would have loved to have the players who are not playing regularly attend a training session and practice matches, say, on Mondays. This will not only afford players a chance to play competitively, but also create a feeling of closeness in the camp," Letsoaka said.

"Take an example of Dylon Classen [the Ajax Amsterdam creative midfielder]. The boy is not playing first-team football at his club, but he is always super-fit whenever he is called for national duties.

"This is because their teams organise competitive matches for such players on Mondays. This is another way of keeping these players fit and focused. Dylon was fitter than many of our Premiership players who played in Rwanda.

"There will be some friendly matches for Bafana during the Fifa dates before June and I will propose to have the [under-20] players during those dates," he said.

Letsoaka, nevertheless, believes he will have ample time to prepare his charges for Egypt.

He said they will have enough training sessions and also engage in friendlies during the Confederations Cup in June.

The fact that the Egyptian showpiece is a Fifa-sanctioned event is a relief for Letsoaka because teams will be obliged to release players 14 days before the start of the championship.