Under-17 soccer team drawn against Mozambique

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The National Under-17 soccer team were drawn against neighbours Mozambique for the first round of the qualifying phase for next year’s Confederation of African Football (Caf) Under-17 Championships in Morocco.

According to the draw released by Caf, the Under-17s, whose technical team is yet to be named by Zifa, will host Mozambique during the weekend of September 7-9 before travelling to Maputo for the second leg from September 21-23.

Should the Young Warriors get past the first hurdle, they will come up against Congo during the weekend of October 12-14 with Kenya or Tanzania waiting in the wings in the second round.

Egypt wait in the third and final qualifying round from November 16-18. Like their Under-20 counterparts, the Under-17s are making a return to continental competitions for the first time since the then Zifa board’s decision to withdraw from all junior competitions in 2010.

The pull-out resulted in two junior teams missing out on qualifiers for the Under-17 and Under-20 championships hosted by Rwanda and South Africa respectively last year.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Zifa communications manager Nicolette Dhlamini-Moyo said the Under-17 technical department will be appointed next week.

“The announcement of the technical department for the Under-17s should be made after next Monday’s Zifa board meeting. The last time the board met no decision was reached as to the composition of the Under-17 technical set up as the draw had not been made. The association has already set up a programme that would see trials beginning from district level in the next two weeks,” said Dhlamini-Moyo.

Meanwhile, the Under-20 were last week drawn against neighbours Botswana for the first round of the 2013 Orange African Youth Championship qualifier first round next month.

The 2013 Orange African Youth Championship will take place in Algeria. The Jairos Tapera-coached team travels to Botswana for the first leg set for the weekend of April 20-22 with Zimbabwe hosting the second leg taking place during the weekend of May 4-6.

Winners from this round will play Angola in the second stage with the first leg set for the weekend of July 27-29.