Young guns prepare for regional showdown

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Harare – Under-20 national sides in the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) will use next month’s regional tournament in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to fire warning shots to the continent’s soccer giants that they are primed for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania.

The COSAFA U20 Challenge serves as a qualifier for the age-set continental tourney. The regional tournament runs from December 3 to 13, and the two finalists will progress to the U20 Africa Cup of Nations.

According to Lynda Greef, COSAFA communications manager, said preparations for the tournament were on course and most teams had confirmed participation despite fears around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“South Africa coach Helman Mkhalele will gather his squad on Sunday for the start of their preparations towards the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship that will be played in Nelson Mandela Bay from December 3-13.

“The tournament serves as a zonal qualifier for the African Under-20 Cup of Nations that is slated for Mauritania next year, with the two finalists earning their berth at the continental showpiece” Greef said in a statement.

According to COSAFA, Zimbabwe head coach Tafadzwa Mashiri was fine-tuning his squad, which is already in camp.

Namibia’s James Britz was reported last week to have called up 55 of Namibia’s best young talents for selection.

“Namibia coach James Britz has cut down his provisional squad to 30 players ahead of the COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from December 3-13. Britz, who has recently taken the helm of the side, initially called 55 players for trials, but has cut that almost in half.

“He will have to shave his selection down to the final 20 ahead of the competition, where Namibia are seeking to earn a place at the 2021 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations that will be staged in Mauritania next year” Greef said.

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