Gaborone — The young Zebras are set to compete in the COSAFA Under 17 tournament in Mauritius from July 19-29. In what can be considered a fair and favourable group for the young Zebras, the boys have been placed in Group A alongside the hosts Mauritius as well as Namibia and Seychelles.
The tournament champions will represent the COSAFA region at the eight-team African U-17 Nations Cup scheduled for Tanzania next year.
The young Zebras coach, Itumeleng Duiker said the draw was fair to his boys, and that if they could prepare well, they would be in a good position to compete.
However, he said he was cognisant of the fact that every team would come determined to perform at the tournament.
He said he had an equally determined arsenal of young boys who were also hungry for success. However, what Duiker forsaw as a major setback was that his squad was made up of school-going players who were currently busy with examinations.
"So we only train with them as and when they are available," he said. Duiker argued that thorough preparations were critical given that their opponents were also busy engaged in international friendly fixtures in preparation for the tournament.
He said their desire as the technical team was to have the boys play an international friendly fixture so that they could assess them via a competitive game against tough opponents. Meanwhile, the competition will also feature Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa in Group B while Angola, Malawi, eSwatini, Zimbabwe are in Group C.
According to the COSAFA website, the three group winners and best placed runner-up would advance from the group stages to the semi-finals. The tournament is also used to determine the four African countries which will play at the U-17 World Cup in Peru next year.
Source : BOPA