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SA U17 Coach Makes Clear Promise To Mzansi Ahead Of U17 AFCON

South Africa U17 head coach Duncan Crowie has promised to produce ‘beautiful football’ at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria set to kick off this month.

Crowie named his final 21-man squad at the South African Football Association headquarters in Nasrec on Tuesday afternoon before addressing the media.

In what appears to be a highly talented crop of players, they have a major task in Group B alongside Morocco, Nigeria and Zambia, who pipped them to the U17 COSAFA Cup title.

And while Crowie said they can’t promise to win the title, it’s the intention but he stated they will definitely entertain supporters in North Africa.

“For this tournament, remember when you reach the semi-final as the last four teams, that teams qualify for the World Cup and, of course, everybody is [going] to the tournament to win it, that is our objective,” Crowie said after announcing his final 21 man squad.

“Yes it’s a development tournament but as soccer people say, ‘the ball is round, we don’t know where it’s going’, I can’t promise anything and I don’t think anyone can promise anything but at this stage, the only thing I can promise is that we’ll play beautiful football.

“For me, beautiful football is positive football going forward, positive football going forward is creating opportunities, creating opportunities is to score goals and if we can do that on a regular basis, we’ll win more games than we lose. So at this stage, I can promise we will play beautiful football.”

South Africa will play one friendly before leaving for Algeria, where two further warm-up fixtures have been scheduled for the squad.

The continental youth event kicks off on 29 April, until 19 May with four representatives for the U17 FIFA World Cup set to be determined from the top-four teams.

Gv of the Final 21 Chosen Players during the South Africa Team Announcement at SAFA House on 18 April 2023 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
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.