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'Nation must show Amajimbos unwavering support'

Amajimbos arrive back in the country today after their 2-0 loss to Mali in the final of the AYC.

FILE: Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - With Amajimbos touching down at the OR Tambo International Airport this afternoon from the Caf Africa Youth Championships in Niger, Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has told EWN Sport that South Africans should be proud of the team and the development of football in the country.

Amajimbos lost 2-0 to Mali in the final of the African Youth Championships on Sunday.

There was some success for the team as they qualified for their first Fifa U17 World Cup after making it to the AYC semifinals.

Mashaba says the future looks bright for South African football.

"Please South Africans, let us try to bear with what the South African Football Association is doing. For a very very long time, we've never ever reached this kind of an achievement. We need to give ourselves a pat on the back and say it's getting there."

He says there are a lot of positives to take from the team's campaign.

"Unfortunately, they couldn't win it and we can't strangle people for that, I mean they have done well for them to be where they are, that's really what we wanted, not winning the cup. There is always next time.

"What really surprises me is when people say we can't lose against Mali. Mali are in the same competition because of good performance."

Mashaba says the U17 players have a great chance of playing for the national team.

"What we are saying is each and every player that has a South African ID, irrespective of age, irrespective of whether they play or qualify for the Bafana Bafana team. Theirs is just to play football to the best of their ability. Now with the U20 and U17 qualifying for this, makes our lives more easier."

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