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South Africa will be appearing at their fifth African Youth Championships this year, but only made it into the final field via the back-door.
The side were knocked out of the qualifiers by tiny neighbours Lesotho, but after it became clear that Libya would not able to host the finals tournament, South Africa were asked to do so, and as hosts they also took Libya's place amongst the eight teams.
The country's best finish to date was in 1997 when they ended runners-up to Morocco, losing 1-0 in the final. The only other time they have got out the group stages was in 2009 when they finished fourth.
The Class of 2011 will be coached by Maqsood Chenia and have been preparing at the High Performance centre in Potchefstroom.
Chenia has not been able to assemble the squad he would like as the tournament is not on the FIFA calendar and so clashes with domestic League and cup matches, meaning clubs have refused to release some of the headline names that Chenia was after.
The country has been on a poor run of form of late, not managing to make it out of the group stages of the regional COSAFA Under-20 Championships in a pool that also included Lesotho and Namibia.
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