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Amajita Coach Clears The Air On Overseas-Based Omissions

Amajita head coach Raymond Mdaka says they want the overseas-based players in their next camp when they have international friendly fixtures before the U20 AFCON qualifiers.

The South Africa U20 side met for the first time this week since October 2022 when they missed out on the Africa Cup of Nations under then-head coach Vela Khumalo.

With a new wave of talent, 46 players were present, dominated by the U17 squad that featured at the U17 AFCON in Algeria last year.

However, no overseas-based players were called up with speculation rife that budget constraints at the South African Football Association (SAFA) prevented the players from being called up during an official FIFA international week.

“This has been discussed with the TD, we already have a list of a number of players who are playing abroad, but the fact that we’re doing this camp, we wouldn’t rush to go outside before we put work inside [the country] to see who we have,” Mdaka said.

“But what the TD promised is that if things go well… then in the next camp we’ll have a number of them to see who are the possible ones that can join us from outside.”

The likes of Waylon Renecke, Michael Dokumnu, Kyle Jansen and Bongikosi Phala, who formed part of the U17 squad and based overseas were not present

When probed about what ‘well’ means he stated; “a lot of things, when you say things go well is the planned program if it doesn’t go well sometimes, but it’s our wish to have them [the overseas-based players.

“I can’t go into that [if it’s about funding] but in our wish, in our program, if it goes according to our plans, we will have them. It’s very important to have them, if they are South African, then it’s very important.

“Especially the standards [of what they exposed to abroad] also making sure we cover everywhere, every [country] for those who qualify for the age, and playing, we need to have them [in Amajita] it’s a national team.”

South Africa U20s are preparing for their AFCON qualifiers in September this year.

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.