Amatjita build up for the big one

GENERAL: Amajita coach Serame Letsoaka. 26/07/2008. Pic. Lee Warren. © Gallo Images
GENERAL: Amajita coach Serame Letsoaka. 26/07/2008. Pic. Lee Warren. © Gallo Images

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Amajita are expected back in action later this month as they begin their final preparations for the Fifa World Youth Championships in Egypt in September.

Coach Serame Letsoaka said they will play two away international friendlies against Gambia and Uruguay.

"The team will go into camp on May 24," said Letsoaka after yesterday's meeting at Safa House to plan for the tournament.

Present at the meeting were team manager Winston Marumo and Safa junior national teams boss Stanley Tshabalala. Letsoaka said they were also planning to host a four-nations cup.

"We were planning to play against the other three African countries who have qualified for the tournament in Egypt but they are not available."

Besides the hosts Egypt, the other three African qualifiers are Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

Letsoaka said they wanted to become the first South African U-20 side to go beyond the first round at the world youth event.

The first and last time Amajita qualified for the World Youth Championships was in 1997 in Malaysia under then coach Ephraim Mashaba, where they were eliminated in the first round.

After the trip to Gambia and Uruguay, Amajita will be back in the country for the Confederations Cup. The team will go to Europe after the four-nations tournament.

In Europe, they plan to play against some of the countries that have qualified for Egypt but are not in their group, like Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and Italy.

They were drawn in Group F with United Arab Emirates, who they meet on September 27, Hungary (September 30) and Honduras (October 3).

They will be in Egypt in August for games against the host country and First Division clubs and also to get a feel for local conditions.

Letsoaka said Amajita will be back home for a week before going to Kenya or Ethiopia for a 10-day intensive training camp at altitude.