South Africa U-20 coach Thabo Senong has stressed the need for unity and belief ahead of his side’s CAF African Youth Championship opener against Ghana on Monday.
Senong’s charges will play their second match against Mali on Thursday before ending their group campaign against Zambia on March 15.
Amajita have been in Senegal for over a week but four players joined the rest of the squad on Tuesday. They are the SuperSport United trio of goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi, defender Kabelo Seriba and midfielder Morne Nel, together with Bloemfontein Celtic striker Dumisani Zuma.
“We are ready for the games. When you have desire to do well, have a good spirit and you are united in a common cause, results will take care of themselves,” said Senong.
The youthful mentor said while there is always anxiety that goes with the opening game, the technical staff had sought to reduce tension.
“The philosophy on settling nerves in a coaching environment is normally to get an early goal. We are not in an easy group; far from it, but we have come here to do well, qualify for New Zealand and pick it up from there.”
Senong is mindful of putting his charges under pressure with thoughts of emulating Amajimbos, who recently finished second in a similar-styled CAF event in Niger.
He added: “This is the future; we are building the future South African team. It is never about me but developing the future generation and my main aim is to leave a lasting impression. I want to contribute to the nation building.”
The semi-finalists at the tournament will qualify for the Fifa U-20 World Cup, taking place in May in New Zealand.