• Senong: We learnt a lot in every match

    Amajita coach Thabo Senong Amajita coach Thabo Senong

    Amajita coach Thabo Senong says he is proud of the his boys despite getting eliminated in the group stages of the Fifa U20 World Cup.

    The South African U20 Men’s National Team returned home safely from Korea Republic on Monday after their participation in the U20 World Cup.

    The Amajita coach says he is disappointed that his side could not advance to the next round, but he insists that he’s proud of the squad.

    “I am still proud of the boys and I believe it was a good experience for all of us. We played tough opponents and were in a very strong group but we learnt a lot in every match,” Senong told Safa.net.

    “We played well against Japan and against Uruguay, where I think we were not lucky to get a win, but we were not good against Italy.

    “I still believe we have a very good team and the future looks bright. The priority is to make sure these boys graduate to the U23 National Team. I also believe a few players can be fast-tracked to the Senior Men’s National Team Bafana Bafana.”

    Senong admits that he is delighted to have exposed the U20 side to a demanding environment as the World Cup.

    “The level was higher, the standard was tougher, the competition was very strong and we had to expose our boys to these kind of conditions. But it was not easy as they really wanted to win, they gave their all but the composure in the final third was still not there,” he added.

    “This was their best way to learn – to see their strengths and their weaknesses but I still believe in them. Their attitude on the field was very positive unfortunately we didn’t proceed to the next round.

    “We need to continue to improve as a nation and as a continent and close the gap between us and the other best footballing nations in the world.”

    – This story originally appeared on SportsClub.co.za

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