The South African National U20 Men’s Team (Amajita) has been forced to make five changes to the 28-man squad that will be travelling to Europe for the first phase of their training camp ahead of the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup.
Missing out on the camp is Grant Margeman of Ajax Cape Town, the Supersport United duo of Teboho Mokoena and Fagrie Lakay, as well as Phakamani Mahlambi and Reeve Frosler of Bidvest Wits.
However, the players will be available for the second training camp, which is set to begin on Saturday, 6 May 2017.
Margeman has been replaced by Zama Rambuwane of Hapoel Ra'anana A.F.C. in Israel, while Sydney Mtshweni of SuperSport United takes the place of Mokoena and Keletso Makgalwa of Mamelodi Sundowns comes in for Lakay.
Katlego Ntshabeleng of the University of Johannesburg and Ajax Cape Town’s Sirgio Kammies have been called up in place of Mahlambi and Frosler respectively.
Head coach Thabo Senong says there is not much they can do but will have to soldier on.
“This is a minor crisis and something we have become accustomed to, but there is not much we can do about it. We have a pool of players that we are monitoring and therefore we are able to make changes going into the camp. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a difficult age group as these players break into their first teams around the same time we need them at the national set up,” said Senong.
“But I am happy for players like Reeve Frosler and Grant Margeman because they are getting the much needed game time at the highest level locally and this will help us going forward. I still believe such a training camp would also have helped in their development as players especially at international level.”
Amajita will report for national team duty on Wednesday, 19 April before departing for the Netherlands on Tuesday, 25 April where they will hold camp.
South Africa is drawn in Group D of the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup alongside Italy, Uruguay and Japan.
The tournament will be held from 20 May – 11 June 2017 in South Korea.
The 28-man Amajita squad in full:
Sanele Tshabalala (Bidvest Wits), Darren Johnson (Ajax Cape Town), Mondli Mpoto (SuperSport United), Khulekani Kubheka (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Malebogo Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thendo Mukumela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Notha Ngcobo (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tercious Malepe (Orlando Pirates), Shane Saralina (Ajax Cape Town), Sandile Mthetwa (Orlando Pirates), Aghmat Ceres (Ajax Cape Town), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Sirgio Kammies (Ajax Cape Town)
Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United), Wiseman Meyiwa (Kaizer Chiefs), Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (Kaizer Chiefs), Sibongakonke Mbatha (Bidvest Wits), Kobamelo Kodisang (Platinum Stars), Zama Rambuwane (Hapoel Ra'anana), Kabelo Seriba (FC Metta, Latvia), Masilakhe Pholongo (Ajax Cape Town), Luther Singh (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Sidney Mtshweni (SuperSport United)
Itumeleng Shopane (Kaizer Chiefs), Liam Jordan (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Thabo Cele (Benfica, Portugal), Katlego Ntshabeleng (University of Pretoria), Keletso Makgalwa (Mamelodi Sundowns)