U-17s in tough tourney

MAJIMBOS, the South African Under-17 national soccer side, have been invited to an international tournament in Windhoek, Namibia, at the end of next month.

MAJIMBOS, the South African Under-17 national soccer side, have been invited to an international tournament in Windhoek, Namibia, at the end of next month.

Besides South Africa, the Football Association of Namibia has also invited Zambia and Germany to feature in the Four Nations Cup with the hosts.

South African coach Solly Luvhengo plans to use the tournament to expose youngsters selected during the Safa Under-17 Cup in Upington last week to international soccer. The South African Schools Football Association team won the tournament, beating KwaZulu-Natal 2-0 in the final.

"We have selected a pool of 40 players, some of whom will be invited to a training camp ahead of the tournament in Namibia," Luvhengo said.

"The camp will be used to select a strong team to represent us in Namibia where the event is part of our long-term preparations for the 2011 World Under-17 Championships.

"The short-term goal is for us to qualify for the African Under-17 Championships. The preparations are going very well and the support from Safa is highly appreciated.

"Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and his executive want to use our junior national teams to qualify for the Fifa competitions."

"The quality of football in Upington was impressive, it was clear that our provincial teams and the schools' national teams went for their best players," Luvhengo said.

The coach, who is assisted by yet another top development coach, Mandla Mazibuko, is off to Antananarivo today with Majimbos for a friendly with Madagascar on Sunday.

Mazibuko said: "We plan to play a series of games against some of the big teams in our preparations for the 2011 Africa Under-17 Championships."

X