Cape Times

Amajita must be given chances in the top flight

- Minenhle Mkhize

KAIZER CHIEFS’ Diski Challenge head coach Arthur “10111” Zwane has challenged Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams to give more game time to players who lifted the Under20 Cosafa Cup in Zambia at the weekend.

Amajita won their sixth Cosafa Cup crown on Saturday when they defeated Lesotho 2-1 in the final at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

Zwane, pictured, who has nurtured the likes of Wiseman Meyiwa and Siyabonga Ngezana has put up the challenge to other PSL teams to give more of these youngsters a chance to showcase their talents.

The former Chiefs player spoke with the media when he visited the Dlams Sports Festival in Mzimkhulu this past weekend. He was there to scout promising talent for Amakhosi.

“The fact that these boys won this tournament tells you that they are talented and they are good enough to dominate the Southern African region. When they come back, they need to be given the opportunit­ies in their senior teams. I’m talking about Wits, SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and us. This is the very same squad that can play in the Under-23 and dominate,” Zwane said.

A few of the players who won the Cosafa Cup have firstteam contracts. Lyle Foster is on the books of Orlando Pirates and has already made his debut. Nkosingiph­ile Ngcobo of Chiefs is also a promising prospect, while Sundowns promoted Thendo Mukumela who can operate in different positions.

“If you go and look at the players who are getting regular game time in Europe you will find that 60 percent in the Under17 or Under-20 national teams are playing week in and week out for their senior (club) teams. Even if they are not playing regularly, the majority of them sit on the bench for their senior teams. So why can’t we do it? If we want to produce world class or top-class players who will go and compete at the highest level they need to start now. If we can have one at Pirates, two at Chiefs, one at Sundowns and then you know that you have players who are competing at the highest level. They won’t have a problem when they face people in their age group because they are used to playing the older guys,” Zwane explained.

Amajita will now focus on upcoming qualifiers for the World Cup in 2019. The qualifiers will commence next year.

“But if they will go there and win against Botswana, Lesotho and then bring them back here to play at the Under20 level then there’s no growth. They have confidence now so let us throw them at the deep end. If they come back they must be given opportunit­ies of game time in the PSL. If we do that, we will have a strong Under-23 team. We will have a solid backup,” Zwane said.

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