Growth shown by South Africa's junior teams thrills Shakes Mashaba


On Thursday the youngsters booked their spot in the final of the competition with a convincing 3-0 win over Sporting Lisbon of Portugal.

David Notoane's side will now face reigning champions Arsenal in the final at Umlazi's King Zwelithini stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mashaba, who himself has coached many junior teams, has been much maligned for his insistence on working with the same coaches from the junior levels all the way to the senior team.

However, he feels vindicated in his decision as it is now paying dividends due to the great synergy that is being fostered.

"Let me start by saying congratulation to the boys for qualifying of this tournament," Mashaba said following the semi-final win.

"I think it is a good thing for our football  in the country. You know I want to remind people, when I took over as the head coach of Bafana Bafana I spoke about changes in our way of doing things.

The biggest change was to implement the question of synergy between all national team coaches - from Under-17, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-23s and from Bafana Bafana to women's soccer as well.

"It is the first of its kind in the South African Football Association all the national teams qualified for major tournaments. The cabinet is now getting full day by day.

"But the most important thing was the question of the one hand was knowing what the other hand is doing."

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