Senong: Players responding well

SA U20 coach Thabo Senong Thabo Senong is confident in his charges

South Africa U20 coach Thabo Senong says he is pleased with his teams preparations for the U20 World Cup which will take place in Korea Republic from May 20th.

Amajita have had four training sessions in preparation for the international spectacle, coupled with a friendly against Costa Rica which they won 2-1 courtesy of strikes by Sibongakonke Mbatha and Luther Singh after initially falling behind.

Senong highlighted that players have responded well to the tactics and has placed a strong emphasis on acclimation.

“The team is still adapting to different conditions,” Senong said.

“It has been a tough few days for the entire traveling party, but I am impressed that the players are responding positively to the adjustments, especially training.

“The team’s management, in conjunction with the players, have adopted a strategy that will benefit the whole team.

“Going forward, the focus will be on reducing the load and putting more emphasis on tactical work, team work and also build on the team’s morale – these become the most crucial characteristics of a team in a tournament because a team that sticks together, fights for one another and has a good cohesion, is always guaranteed to perform well,” he added.

South Africa have been grouped alongside Uruguay, Japan and Italy in Group D and their mentor expressed his gratitude to his South American opponents after their friendly win.

“We are very grateful to Costa Rica for the tough challenge,this was the kind of exercise we needed,” he told Safa’s website.

“We are still very slow, mainly because we are still working on our tactical approach and polishing up in some areas of our game.

“The players are getting back into their normal routine and we have almost adapted to the different time zones and climate.

“We can’t wait for the World Cup to kick off. I believe come Sunday (21 May) when we play our first match we will be ready,’ he concluded.

Amajita play against Japan in their opening match of the World Cup on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 10am locally.

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

-This story originally appeared on SoccerClub.co.za