Ajax snub for SA U-20 side


The match is set to take place on the weekend of May 20-22, a date which will clash with the Urban Warriors’ annual Under-19 European tour.

Although the South African Football Association (Safa) are yet to publicly announce the squad that will do duty, they appear to already have made contact with the clubs with regards to player availability, which has led to Ajax issuing a statement on their website declaring that the club has turned down the offer.

“Ajax Cape Town would like to proudly announce that five of our youth academy players, Darren Johnson, Sergio Kammies, Aghmat Ceres, Shane Saralina and Masilake Phohlongo, have been called up for the South African U-20 side to play in the African Youth Championships,” read the statement, which then goes on to explain that the five will not be joining up with their Amajita counter-parts, but travelling to Europe instead in the hope of attracting interest on the international stage.

“We regret to inform everyone that these young talents will not be able to form part of the SA U-20 squad which assembles on Thursday, May 12, at Safa Technical Centre in Johannesburg, due to our U-19’s leaving for their annual European tour on Monday (May 9).

“Nonetheless, we are extremely proud that five of our youth players have been considered to represent the SA U-20 side for such a prestigious match. Three out of the five Under-19 players who were called up, have already been promoted to our PSL team. Darren Johnson, Aghmat Ceres, Shane Saralina and Masilake Phohlongo have all previously represented SA at junior level in 2015.”

Past tours have seen the Ajax youngsters up against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Fluminense, Liverpool, FC Zürich and Stuttgart. Although no players have directly earned a move to Europe as a result of these trips, the tour has proved to be a springboard for several youngsters to go on and establish themselves in Ajax’s first team in the PSL.

The Cape club claim to be confident that the snub will not affect future relations between themselves and the South African Football Association: “We have made direct contact with Safa on the matter and they have been very understanding regarding this matter, and we are absolutely positive that our boys will be considered once again when the next opportunity arises.”

The top two leagues (PSL and NFD) in South Africa end on the weekend of May 21- 22, and it will remain to be seen if the other clubs are willing to release any players they may feel are key to them – African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Ajax snub for SA U-20 side