Singh, Mahlambi deserve Bafana nod - Senong
Amajita coach Thabo Senong has welcomed the inclusion of the national under-20 pair of Luther Singh and Phakamani Mahlambi in the Bafana Bafana squad for the upcoming two international friendly matches.
Stand-in Bafana coach Owen da Gama, who joined the U20 team in Zambia just before their semifinal match against Junior Chipolopolo, named the two forwards in his 25-man squad to face Guinea Bissau and Angola.
Senong told supersport.com that he expected some of his players to get call-ups, especially after their gallant performance in the U20 Afcon, which saw them seal a spot in 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup.
“I am not surprised with the inclusion of these two youngster Phakamani and Luther Singh into the senior national team, and congratulations to them. I am not surprised because it is the plan of Safa to fast-track the development of talented players just to make sure they get the opportunity to be part of the senior national team as early as 18, 19 and 20 years old,” Senong told supersport.com.
“This how the best footballing countries in the world approach it. If you look at when Neymar was integrated into the senior national team and when Ronaldinho was introduced into the Brazil senior national team, that’s what we are trying to do as well. The boys are still developing and we are not going to put them under pressure, but they need to learn and be guided by some top senior Bafana players like Dean Furman, Itumeleng Khune, Andile Jali, who will obviously mentor them well,” said the Amajita coach.
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The two international friendlies form part of Bafana Bafana’s preparations for their back to back matches against Cape Verde in the World Cup qualifiers later this year, and Senong believes the senior national team looks set to book a ticket to Russia 2018.