Johannesburg - Now is not the time to relax, South African under-20 men's national football coach Solly Luvhengo warned his young charges on Tuesday.
He was talking about the group phases of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Under-20 Youth Championship starting in Botswana on Thursday.
"We are in a very strong group, so this competition needs to be taken seriously," said Luvhengo.
"There's no time to relax going forward, and I believe we can excel beyond the group stages of the tournament."
The team played a number of practice matches and international friendlies against Botswana and Lesotho in preparation for the tournament.
"The loss against Lesotho over the weekend is not a setback for the boys as we won two of the three matches we played against them.
"We learnt some lessons and now we know what to do on the training field to rectify the mistakes we committed in all the matches."
The South Africans are in Group C along with Zambia, Tanzania and Mauritius.
SA under-20 squad:
Goalkeepers: Bongani Mpandle, Sbongiseni Ndlovu, Njabulo Kubheka. Defenders: Seun Ledwaba, Jino Mokoetsi, Sanele Khuzwayo, Mothokozisi Dube, Junior Sibande, Mbongeni Gumede, Grant Kekana. Midfielders: Cebo Meyiwa, Snethemba Ngidi, Pogiso Mahlangu, Steve Hlophe, Andile Khena, Miquel Timm, Menzi Masuku. Forwards: Thabani Mthembu, Jerry Mxabo, Letsie Koapeng.