AMAJITA coach Thabo Senong included overseas-based stars Luther Singh, Liam Jordan and newcomer Thabo Cele in the SA squad on Friday for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup.
Senong announced a 21-man squad at the Maponya Mall in Soweto, with the tournament taking place from May 20 to June 11 in South Korea.
Senong has kept the bulk of the squad that went to the CAF Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia, where South Africa finished fourth earlier this year.
Only four players of the 21-man squad were not at the tournament – defenders Malebogo Modise and Shane Saralina, as well as midfielders Cele and Masilake Phohlongo.
Senong has called up only three players from overseas – Cele, Singh and Jordan (all from Portugal).
“We are humbled to represent our country in the greatest showpiece in the world. We wish to thank the clubs for releasing players in the preparation phase,” said Senong.
“I believe we have selected a balanced team of players that suit our game model and philosophy. Competing in the World Cup event will be demanding physically and mentally.
“Our players possess good technique, with an excellent tactical application. We are drawn against tough teams in our group. With good team ethics and hard work, I believe that we can surprise our opponents.
“I have great faith in this group of players that we can really make this a memorable World Cup tournament.”
South Africa will be based in Suwon, a city traditionally known as ‘The City of Filial Piety’.
Twenty-four teams from six confederations will participate in the 21st edition of the Under-20 World Cup, which will be spread across six different venues.
Amajita’s first match will be against Japan on Sunday, May 21 at 10am SA time, followed by Italy on the next Wednesday at 1pm SA time and Uruguay on May 27 at 1pm SA time.
The South Africans depart for South Korea on Wednesday, May 10. They have lined up an international friendly against Costa Rica on May 15.
Goalkeepers: Sanele Tshabalala (Wits), Mondli Mpoto (SuperSport United), Khulekani Kubheka (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Defenders: Malebogo Modise (Sundowns), Thendo Mukumela (Sundowns), Tercious Malepe (Orlando Pirates), Shane Saralina (Ajax CapeTown), Sandile Mthethwa (Pirates), Reeve Frosler (Wits).
Midfielders: Sipho Mbule (SuperSport), Wiseman Meyiwa (Kaizer Chiefs), Sibongakonke Mbatha (Wits), Kobamelo Kodisang (Platinum Stars), Luther Singh (Sporting Braga – Portugal), Grant Margeman (Ajax CT), Thabo Cele (Benfica FC – Portugal), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport), Masilakhe Phohlongo (Ajax CT)
Strikers: Phakamani Mahlambi (Wits), Liam Jordan (Sporting Lisbon – Portugal), Keletso Makgalwa (Sundowns).
SAFA Media, Staff Writer