SOUTH Africa Under-20 national team coach Thabo Senong says Zambian fans should be patient with their team as they are still work in progress.Speaking on arrival at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Friday evening, Senong said booing a junior team is detrimental to the development of players.
He said the Zambian team had already demonstrated its potential by qualifying from the previous round where they recorded a 2-0 away win.
“I will always encourage Zambians to rally behind these boys. It is about development and getting these boys to grow as international footballers. Sometimes results must be expected from a team but not always at the development level,” he said.
“The job is just to give young players to grow as international footballers, they can’t get results every day because young players can still make mistakes and let us allow them the opportunities and platform to learn.”
Senong said he was confident Zambia would give his side a good test before the Amajita face Malawi in the race for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“The Amajita boys have come from off season, so they are really unfit so we just felt that it is important that we play a friendly game which can bring our players closer before the game against Malawi,” he said.
“We chose Zambia as the best opponent because Zambia has the necessary quality and they can give us a better idea of what to expect against Malawi. We are happy to be here because for us this is home and we are here to prepare and learn from our Zambian brothers.”
South Africa and Zambia square off today in an international friendly at Nkoloma Stadium with both teams preparing for the final round of qualifiers for the 2019 U20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Zambia plays Burundi while South Africa faces Malawi.
Gate charges for Sunday’s international friendly match have been pegged at K20 open wing and K50 VIP.
Kick-off is at 15:00 hours with tickets available at the match venue.