Amajita to fight back

AMAJITA remain confident of doing well in the World Youth Championships in Egypt despite a 6-1 humiliation by the German Under-20 side in Hamburg.

AMAJITA remain confident of doing well in the World Youth Championships in Egypt despite a 6-1 humiliation by the German Under-20 side in Hamburg.

Captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele said they were eager to make South Africans proud in Egypt later this month where they have been drawn against United Arab Emirates, Hungary and Honduras.

Mphahlele said they were bracing themselves for tough matches.

"It's always difficult playing against unknown opposition, but our technical staff are busy with their research regarding the strengths and weaknesses of those teams.

"First games in a tournament are crucial, so the opening match against United Arab Emirates on September 27 is a must-win affair," he said. "Our advantage is that the majority of the players in this team have been playing together for the past four years while still doing duty for Majimbos (Under-17s)."

Coach Serame Letsoaka said: "It is true that things did not go well for us in the past few games, but it won't be the same in Egypt. We were using the friendlies abroad to sharpen the team for the World Youth Championships. The aim is to better the performance of the Class of 1997."

That team, which was coached by Ephraim Mashaba and included Benni McCarthy, Stanton Fredericks, Nkhephitheni Matombo, Fabian McCarthy, Abram Nteo and Patrick Mbuthu, was the first and only junior national side to qualify for the finals of a world tournament.

They were bundled out in the first round in Malaysia.

Letsoaka, who is assisted by Masqood Chenia, said Amajita were determined to get to the knockout stages in Egypt.

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