Head coach of the South African u17 Men’s National Team, Amajimbos, Molefi Ntseki is confident his charges will do well at the BRICS u17 Football Cup which will be played from 5 – 15 October 2016 in Goa, India.
The South Africans have been invited to play in the inaugural tournament alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Amajimbos are already in camp before their departure to Goa on Monday, 3 October.
The squad last played in August in the qualifiers of the CAF u17 African Youth Championships where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Tanzania. Ntseki is confident his charges will do well.
“The most important thing for the boys is that they played their first international match when they played in the COSAFA tournament earlier this year, and thereafter played against Tanzania in the two-legged AYC qualifier. So them coming into camp to prepare for the India tournament is a great opportunity for them to improve on the things we feel they need to work on,” said Ntseki.
“The camp will be more on the tactical discipline and technical approach because we are not playing any African country; so the approach will be different. The South Americans (Brazil) and the Europeans (Russia) are known to be very disciplined when it comes to the tactical approach of the game, so these are things we need to work on.”
Ntseki has also identified some of the key areas that led to the loss against Tanzania.
“We also need to work on the mental approach going into these matches because our boys tend to lose it towards the end of the game as well as lapse of concentration. We will be doing more of mental strength training and cognitive training and we will also work on finishing because we create a lot of chances but the conversion rate is not pleasing at the moment,” added Ntseki.
The other challenge is the level of fitness as most of the players have been sitting down for their exams, so they may have lost a bit of sharpness. But the Amajimbos coach says it’s something they can deal with.
“Well most of them play for their clubs and academies so the level of fitness should not a worry but the concern is that the past two weeks they were writing exams, so it is possible that they were more focused on the studies and we might experience a challenge in terms of their physical condition but it is something we can work on until we play our first match on the seventh of October,” concluded Ntseki.
Amajimbos open their Brics u17 Football Cup encounter with a clash against hosts India on Friday, 7 October.
Kickoff is at 12h30 South African time (16h00 local time in India).