SA U23 coach David Notoane sweating over the fitness of key midfielder Teboho Mokoena

18 March 2019 - 17:42 By Tiisetso Malepa
SA Under-23 head coach David Notoane is on a mission to qualify the team for both the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
SA Under-23 head coach David Notoane is on a mission to qualify the team for both the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

SA Under-23 head coach David Notoane is sweating over the fitness of Teboho Mokoena after the SuperSport United utility midfielder picked up a knock playing for his club at the weekend.

Mokoena featured for SuperSport in a league match on Friday and was hauled off with ten minutes remaining with what looked like a discomfort during the 1-1 league draw against Kaizer Chiefs.

Mokoena‚ with 28 appearances in all competitions for United and chipping in with three goals and two assists so far this season‚ is probably the most experienced and active player at club level and a vital cog in Notoane's midfield plans.

Notoane said he will be crossing fingers the youngster's knock is just a minor one.

“Teboho Mokoena has a slight knock from Friday’s game but he should be okay (to travel with the team to Angola)‚” said Notoane.

“We are keeping him clean for a day or two to allow him to recover fully.”

Notoane also revealed that his ideal starting team needs to be treated with caution leading up to Friday’s crucial match.

“The ideal perceived starting group that one has in mind has now to be treated with caution‚” said Notoane‚ who added that he is happy with the current squad complement in camp.

“We had a turnout of about 21 players on day one of the expected 28 which was good. Of course our foreign players all of them were involved in matches yesterday so a lot of them were booked to arrive today Monday and Tuesday.”

Notoane said he is expecting more of his overseas contingent to report for camp on Tuesday but confirmed that Luther Sighn and Kabelo Seriba have arrived.

“And of course those that played yesterday Tercious Malepe of Chippa United and Msimango of Highladns also arrived in camp today. In the morning they were both here.”

The Under-23s were scheduled to play a practice match against their Lesotho counterparts in Pretoria late on Monday with Notoane saying he will use the exercise to hand Reeve Frosler and Siyabonga Ngezana a run.

The Kaizer Chiefs duo have seen little game time at Amakhosi but will be vital cogs in Notoane’s team.

Notoane 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.

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