Play­ers lack ma­tu­rity – Senong

The New Age (Free State) - - SPORT - SITHEMBISO DINDI

AMAJITA coach Thabo Senong has blamed their early exit from the U-20 Fifa World Cup on a lack of com­pe­ti­tion for the young­sters at home.

While the World Cup is still on in South Korea, the South Africans are back home af­ter they failed to match their peers.

Amajita fin­ished at the bot­tom of Group D with just one point from a pos­si­ble nine, fail­ing to out­shine Uruguay, Italy and Ja­pan.

De­spite de­part­ing for the tour­na­ment with a lot of con­fi­dence that they could match their op­po­nents, the coach came back home singing a dif­fer­ent tune.

On ar­rival on Mon­day, Senong said it was al­ways go­ing to be hard for them to match their op­po­nents as their play­ers have ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing at the high­est level.

“Maybe one needs to make sure that all these young­sters in South Africa get good game time at the higher level, maybe PSL and NFD as well,” the coach said.

“That will help them by fast­track­ing their devel­op­ment be­cause what we lack is tac­ti­cal ma­tu­rity.

“Our boys are not ex­posed to very tough foot­ball ev­ery week­end and that was the dif­fer­ence be­tween us, Italy, Uruguay and Ja­pan be­cause all their play­ers are play­ing at a higher level.”

Most of the play­ers who rep­re­sented South Africa at the World Cup are reg­u­lars for their clubs in the Mul­tichoice Diski Chal­lenge.

Senong had at least three play­ers who are reg­u­lars for their se­nior sides in the PSL, with two of them ar­riv­ing late in South Korea.

The coach be­lieves if more of his play­ers were en­joy­ing some game time in the top tier, maybe they would have made it out of the group stages.

“We saw play­ers like Grant Mager­man, Reeve Frosler and Te­boho Mokoena how they ex­celled be­cause of the kind of com­pe­ti­tion they are get­ting ev­ery week­end and hope­fully that will hap­pen with the rest of the squad,” he said.

De­spite Amajita and Guinea bow­ing out of the World Cup, Africa is well rep­re­sented with Zam­bia and Sene­gal still in the run­ning for places in the fi­nal.

Zam­bia will play Ger­many for a spot in the quar­ter­fi­nals to­day while Sene­gal take on Mex­ico to­mor­row.

PIC­TURE: GETTY IMAGES

COM­PET­I­TIVE: Grant Marge­man ex­celled in South Korea be­cause of reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­ence.

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