By FOCUS REPORTER
THE executive committee of SA Football Association (SAFA) has finally came to its sense after announcing the appointment of Maqsood “Macky” Chenia as the head coach of the National Under-20 team.
Chenia who replaces Khabo Zondo in the hot seat will spearhead the team’s campaign in the upcoming African Youth Championship that will
be played in Johannesburg from April 17-May 1.
The incompetent Zondo has since been assigned to the SAFA
Transnet School of Excellence.
National Under-17 coach Solly Luvhengo will assist Chenia, while technical director Serame Letsoaka will serve as the team’s technical advisor.
Coach Chenia has been in the National Under-20 set-up as assistant to then head coach Letsoaka, and together they led Amajita to the second round of the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2009.Letsoaka late took up the position as the Association’s technical director.
Chenia took Amajita to the final of the Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 challenge in 2009, and he went on to win the Four-Nations international tournament that was hosted by SAFA Sedibeng.
Chenia’s assistant, Luvhengo qualified the Under 17 Women’s team for the FIFA World Cup played in Trinidad and Tobago last year.
SAFA Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pinky Lehoko says the team will be given all the support considering the limited time they have to prepare.
“We have assembled a strong technical team to lead our campaign to qualify for the Under 20 FIFA World Cup. It is obviously a tough assignment considering that all the teams in the tournament have been preparing for months and we were inactive after we failed to qualify initially. We have been given a second chance by virtue of being
hosts after the withdrawal of Libya due to political unrest.
Now it is incumbent upon all of us to rally behind the team. We have a positive record in this tournament and we should remain focused and take advantage of playing at home,” said Lehoko.
Amajita are already in camp preparing for a massive task ahead, and they will play friendly matches as part of their preparations for the tournament.
The South Africans are in Group A alongside Mali, Lesotho and Egypt. In Group B Ghana has been drawn against Cameroon, Nigeria and Gambia.