KZN Clubs Up In Arms Over Over U16 Snub, Dlangalala Responds

KwaZulu-Natal’s PSL clubs are up in arms after newly appointed SA U16 coach Zipho Dlangalala didn’t even call up one of their players for the trip to Poland, with the coach defending his decision when contacted by iDiski Times.

The clubs, who spoke on anonymously to this publication, said Dlangalala is trying to settle the scores because he doesn’t have a job in the province.

The squad called up has no player from the five clubs in the DStv Premiership, namely Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United, Royal AM, Richards Bay FC and AmaZulu, neither from Motsepe Foundation Championship side Uthongathi FC.

Dlangalala, who has a plethora of experience when it comes to youth coaching having also worked at Orlando Pirates reserve side before, was appointed by SAFA recently.

His first assignment comes after the U16 side was invited to participate in a tournament in Poland, running from 27 March to 1 April 2023.

At the tournament South Africa will face hosts Poland, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland.

Dlangalala will be in charge of the team, assisted by Mandla Mathaba while Thomas Nare will be the goalkeeper coach.     

But to be fair to Dlangalala, none of the KZN clubs have U16 age group structures, which vindicates him not picking a player in those clubs.

It is something Dlangalala was able to respond to, when contacted by this publication.

“Which player in the KZN teams is playing in a competition, as we speak,” Dlangalala asked.

“If you know one Youth League in KZN that is on, where there could be an U16 [player] with passport, an unabridged birth certificate and a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, please let me know.

“I’m glad that you asked me these questions because it is your job and I appreciate people who are like that. These questions you are asking me, I’m not fighting them back to you.

“You know that in KZN, only AmaZulu have an U17 team (following the appointment of Reneilwe Letsholonyane late in January) that is yet to kick a ball this season?

“Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United, Richards Bay, Royal AM and Uthongathi, do not have these age groups.”

However, according to iDiski Times, the players that were assembled for this tournament were not called up by Dlangalala, but by former Bafana internationals – Aaron Mokoena, David Nyathi, who are both scouts, and SAFA Technical Director Walter Steenbok.

This trip came after the association forged a relationship with UEFA Assist, which saw a week-long workshop between the two organizations in Kempton Park a few weeks ago.

Story by Robin-Duke Madlala (@duke_robin).

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