“It was a great experience,” Nkosingiphile Ngcobo reflected on Amajita’s Cosafa U-20 Youth Championship win. The attacking midfielder was one of three young Glamour Boys that featured in the South Africa’s Under-20s squad.
The Cosafa U-20 Youth Championship was held in Kitwe, Zambia. South Africa’s youngsters beat Mauritius (2-0), Mozambique (1-0) and Egypt (2-1) in the group stage, before beating the Young Pharaohs again in the semi-final (1-0). Amajita beat Lesotho 2-1 in the final.
Kaizer Chiefs’ young prospects Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Happy Mashiane and Katlego Ntsabeleng were all part of this championship winning South African squad.
Ngcobo started in all matches, except the final due to a concussion he suffered in the semi-final against Egypt.
He scored the equaliser in the group stage game against Egypt and captained Amajita in the semi-final against the same country.
“It was an honour to lead South Africa,” Ngcobo comments. “Being a captain comes with responsibility. For example, if the team is down, you have to pick the guys up. I raised my game, so that everybody had to follow my example.”
Looking at the quality of the opponents, the 18-year-old talented midfielder says: “The matches against Egypt and Mauritius were the hardest. Especially the first game against Egypt was tough.”
Ngcobo was used as an attacking midfielder, while Mashiane played on the left wing. Ntsabeleng was positioned either as a striker or a winger.
Mashiane and Ntsabeleng, who are both 19, started in the final against Lesotho. All three youngsters have played for Kaizer Chiefs’ reserve side this season, while Ngcobo is also part of the senior squad.
“I learnt a lot,” concludes Ngcobo. “We love to build-up from the back. That’s good, but we also need to look earlier for that pass forward, playing more direct football. That’s how you win games.”