New coach for Amajita ahead of continental tournament

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretoria - The South African Football Association (Safa) has appointed Maqsood "Macky" Chenia as the head coach of the national under-20 team, Amajita. 

Chenia will spearhead the team's campaign in the upcoming African Youth Championship that will be played in Johannesburg from the 17th of April to 1st May 2011. 

He takes over from Khabo Zondo, who 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.

Chenia has been in the national under 20 set-ups as assistant to then head coach Serame Letsoaka.

Together they led Amajita to the second round of the under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2009 before Letsoaka took up the position as the association's technical director. 

Chenia took Amajita to the final of the COSAFA under-20 Challenge in 2009, and he went on to win the Four-Nation 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 Pinky Lehoko said 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. While in camp, 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. Venues for the tournament will be announced at a later stage.