Under-23 coach Notoane names strong Olympic squad
New South Africa Under-23 coach David Notoane has named a strong provisional 27-man squad as the junior national team prepare to begin their path towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in two-and-a-half weeks’ time.
Notoane‚ appointed last week‚ has included a number of players who have played for South Africa at the U-17 Fifa World Cup in Chile in 2015 and the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Among notable inclusions in the squad‚ which the coach will trim to 23 on Monday‚ are strikers Lyle Foster of Monaco‚ Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns and Luther Singh of GD Chaves in Portugal.
The defenders include Ajax Cape Town’s Thendo Mukumela‚ Keanu Cupido of Cape Town City‚ and the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Siyabonga Ngezana and new Amakhosi signing Reeve Frosler.
An array of midfield talent includes SuperSport United’s Teboho Mokoena‚ wingers Gift Links of Cape Town City and Fagrie Lakay of Bidvest Wits‚ Ajax Cape Town playmaker Grant Margeman and Thabo Cele of Cova da Piedade in Portugal.
The Olympic team meet Angola in Luanda on Friday‚ March 22‚ with the return leg scheduled at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday‚ March 26 in a 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier.
The South Africans were given a bye through the preliminary round‚ where Angola had a walkover against Namibia.
If SA beat Angola‚ they will meet Mozambique or Zimbabwe for a place at the eight-team U-23 Afcon in Egypt in November‚ where the top three teams reach the Olympics.
With the matches taking place across a Fifa international date‚ Notoane will hop to have as all his SA and European-based call-ups available‚ as he begins to build a team that can qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Provisional SA U-23 squad -
Goalkeepers: Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic)‚ Sarren Johnson (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Khulekani Khubeka (Cape Umoya)
Defenders: Thendo Mukumela (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City)‚ Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Kabelo Seriba (Metta FC (Latvia)‚ Katlego Mohamme (SuperSport United)‚ Sibusiso Mabiliso (AmaZulu)‚ Sandile Mthethwa (Richards Bay)‚ Given Msimango (Highlands Park)
Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United)‚ Athenkosi Dlala (SuperSport United)‚ Tercious Malepe (Chippa United)‚ Gift Links (Cape Town City)‚ Fagrie Lakay (Bidvest Wits)‚ Kamohelo Mahlatsi (SuperSport United)‚ Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Jamie Webber (SuperSport United)‚ Thabo Cele (Cova da Piedade‚ Portugal)
Strikers: Luther Singh (GD Chaves‚ Portugal)‚ Phakamani Mahlambi (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Lyle Foster (AS Monaco‚ France)‚ Liam Jordan (Koge FC‚ Denmark)‚ Jemondre Dickens (Baroka FC)‚ Keletso Makgalwai (Mamelodi Sundowns)