Monday, July 15, 2024
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SA U17 Ready For AFCON Group Of Death And Opener Against Morocco

South Africa U17 head coach Duncan Crowie and captain Benjamin Wallis say they are ready to open their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a positive result against Morocco U17 in the Group of Death.

The tournament that kicks off this evening with hosts Algeria against Somalia serves as a qualifying tournament for the U17 FIFA World Cup with the top-four sides advancing to the global event later this year.

With the stakes high and the disappointment of the U20 and U23 national teams of not reaching the continental stage – there’s a major emphasis on the special crop of talent to do the nation proud.

“We had our last training session last night, the guys are ready mentally, we are prepared, and we know exactly what to do on the field,” Crowie said in the pre-match press conference.

“I’m happy with the way the preparations have gone and I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow.”

With the North Africans, Nigeria, and Cosafa Cup champions Zambia in Group B alongside South Africa, Crowie admitted they are under no illusions of the task ahead.

“Everyone is calling it the group of death, it is what it is – we’re in it as well, so that means something for us as well,” Crowie said.

“It doesn’t matter who we come up against, that is the nature of the draw and if we want to reach our objective, we have to beat these teams, so we’re looking forward to that.”

SuperSport United defender Wallis, who led the side to runners-up at the U17 Cosafa Cup echoed his coaches’ sentiments for the clash against one of the tournament favourites.

“I think we’ve done a lot of preparation, it’s been very thorough, we worked on all areas of the game as individuals and as a team,” Wallis added. “We’re all determined and looking forward to it and excited to play.”

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.