Amajita have been drawn in a tricky 2018 Cosafa Under-20 Championships Group B as they seek to retain the trophy they won last year in Kitwe‚ Zambia when the competition returns to the same venue from December 2-14.
Coach Thabo Senong’s side defeated Lesotho 2-1 in the decider last year with a team that includes the likes of rising stars Lyle Foster‚ Luvuyo Mkatshana and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
They will need to navigate a pool that also includes Namibia‚ Mauritius and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)‚ with only the top team in each pool and the best-placed runner-up advancing to the semi-finals.
Group A contains hosts Zambia‚ Malawi‚ newcomers Reunion and Mozambique‚ while Group C features Lesotho‚ Zimbabwe‚ Angola and Botswana.
Should Amajita advance they will play the best runner-up in the semi-finals from whichever pool that teams comes from.
Amajita will take on Mauritius in their opening game on December 3‚ before a clash with Namibia three days later.
Their final pool game will be on December 8 against eSwatini.
Senong has said he will be using this tournament to build towards the 2019 African Under-20 Championships that will be staged in Niger in February and this type of competition will give him the perfect platform.
“There are two things that have to be achieved in this upcoming Cosafa tournament‚” Senong told the SA Football Association (Safa) website.
“The first one is to make sure that we are well prepared for it so that we can get the best performance out of our players.
“The second one is to make sure that we give it our utmost best to try and defend our title. That will serve as a great morale boaster leading up next year’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations Niger edition.”
South Africa are six-time winners of the Cosafa Under-20 Championships‚ level with Zimbabwe but five behind Zambia on the all-time winners list.
2018 Cosafa Under-20 Championships draw: