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SA u15 coach: “It was a good test of character for our boys”

By Ongama Gcwabe , in Football | News , at 2023-12-14

The U15 Three Nations Tournament is well and truly underway in the city of Rabat in Morocco, where three of Africa’s biggest footballing countries – South Africa, Morocco and Ivory Coast – are going toe-to-toe for bragging rights in the five-day-long tournament.

To kick start the tournament, South Africa locked horns with Ivory Coast at the Mohammed VI Football Complex on Tuesday, with the Ivorians claiming a 4-2 victory.

Despite the defeat, the South African u15 coach, Vela Khumalo, said his focus is on the overall vision behind the tournament, which aims to improve and develop African football to help the continent become a bigger player on the world stage, with the next edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup taking centre stage in 2025.

As a result, the Confederation of African Football, headed up by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, has worked with the three participating countries’ governing bodies to bring together the most exciting u15 talent from the north, south and west of Africa. The goal is to nurture the young talent so that they are prepared to take on the best in the world in the u17 age group.

Despite Tuesday’s defeat, coach Khumalo reiterated that his players had gained experience, and that experience would come in handy in the future, be it in the national colours or locally in the Gauteng Development League.

Although his team went down, Khumalo said there were plenty of positives to take out of the contest.

“Remember this is the initiative that we want to see Africans develop more and get to the u17 level ready and exposed to these kinds of tournaments. This will give more minutes, more caps to our players. It will not be a new thing altogether,” he added.

South Africa has sent 29 players to Morocco, but coach Khumalo reckons it is not only the players that will benefit from the experience of being involved in the international football space.

The coach believes the entire coaching staff will return home having gained valuable experience that will be of great benefit to South African football.

“It is helping the technical team to identify the challenges that we are having in the build-up,” Khumalo explained.

“For our technical staff also, it’s experience gathered, and experience that will be used in the future,” he concluded.

The tournament runs until Sunday, 17 December.

SA U15 Touring Squad

1. Ronin BLACKWELL Panorama FC
2. Keabetswe MORAKE Kaizer Chiefs
3. Christiano VON MUELEN School of Excellence
4. Sive PAMA Cape Town City
5. Ncebo MTOLO Magic FC
6. Lucca LAZARUS Supersport United
7. Tswelelo MAAKI Supersport United
8. Tiago KAHN Panorama FC
9. Luke HENDRIKS Ubuntu FC
10. Lebogang MSWANE School of Excellence
11. Anovuyo MQOQI Cape Town City
12. Royce MALATJI Kaizer Chiefs
13. Kabelo SIBANDE Mamelodi Sundowns
14. Thurston PHILLIPS Cape Town Spurs
15. Selwyn STEVENS Cape Town Spurs
16.  Kgaogelo MONANYANE Mamelodi Sundowns
17. Emile WITBOOI School of Excellence
18. Ishaam TILLING Ubuntu FC
19. Simphiwe MLONDO School of Excellence
20. Neo BOHLOKO Kaizer Chiefs
21. Adriano ADAMS Cape Town Spurs
22. Lesego HLOPHE Kaizer Chiefs
23. Bokamoso MOKOKOSI Kaizer Chiefs
24. Steven MENDEZ Kaizer Chiefs
25. Uyathanda SBOTHOBOTHO Cosmos FC
26. Boyzy NGIDI Amazulu
27. Luyanda BIYELA Amazulu
28. Diego DA SILVA University of Pretoria
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.