2 September 2017 – Captain of the South African U20 National Team, Malebogo Modise says their upcoming tri-nations match against England will be a lot tougher than when they faced Brazil.
The Burger King-sponsored Amajita are in England to play two matches – they have already lost 4-0 to the South Americans (Wednesday, 30 August 2017), and will now face the host nation on Monday, 4 September.
The fixture will take place at Harrison Park in Leek Town.
Kickoff is at 20h00 South African time (19h00 local time).
“Things are going well, we lost to Brazil on Wednesday and the coaches have told us not to drop our heads, but work harder on rectifying the mistakes we made in the first match and be ready for the game against England. We are really motivated to play them, and the boys are looking sharp and waiting in anticipation for the game,” said Modise.
“But we are also aware that it is going to be tougher than the Brazil match because this is the host nation we are playing, as they will have all the support they need. We have been discussing with the other players that we have to be switched on from the first minute – the England team will come at us, motivated by the home support and also because they drew against Brazil, so they will want to register a win. We have been working on the mistakes we committed against Brazil and so I think we are ready for England.”
Modise played at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Korea earlier this year, and was also called up to the Bafana Bafana squad recently for the COSAFA Cup tournament and 2018 CHAN qualifiers. He played one match where he got injured.
He also featured U17 AFCON tournament.
With his experience, he says it is vital that junior national teams be involved in the kind of matches they are playing against England and Brazil.
“The games are very important because most of the boys are new to the international scene so they are still learning about the difference between club football and the international level. At this level it is very demanding so the boys are acclimatizing well and they are learning everyday how hard it is to play for the national team, so this is a very important exercise,” added Modise.
“It’s very tough at this level, but as a player you should listen to the instructions of the coach because international football is very demanding. There is time for basics but emphasis is put on tactics, and things are done at a very fast pace and you have to be on top of the game from word go. International football is all about results, so as a player you have to acclimatize quickly and be strong mentally.”
It is then not surprising that he has been selected caption of the squad in England, something that he cherishes.
“It’s an honour to lead the team maybe to bring some experience because I have been here with the U20 squad for a while now, and most of the players are new in the squad, so my role is to lead them and show them how to do things and what not to do. I would like to thank the technical team for this opportunity to play such a meaningful role in the national team, but at the same time I am well aware that I am not the only leader, we have other players who can take up this role, so I don’t take it for granted. I am really honoured,” concluded the Mamelodi Sundowns player.
Amajita will have one final training session on Sunday before facing England on Monday.-SAFA WEBSITE