Notoane admits he has very little time to prepare SA Under-23s for Olympic qualifier against Angola

19 March 2019 - 15:32 By Sazi Hadebe
David Notoane (coach) of the SA U/23 during the Bafana Bafana and U23 Squad Announcement at SAFA House, Conference Room on March 11, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
David Notoane (coach) of the SA U/23 during the Bafana Bafana and U23 Squad Announcement at SAFA House, Conference Room on March 11, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

SA Under 23 coach David Notoane has admitted that he does not have enough to prepare his new team ahead of their 2020 Olympic preliminary qualifier against Angola in Luanda on Friday.

With his overseas-based players only arriving in SA later on Tuesday‚ Notoane conceded that he would have a difficult time getting his charges to click as a unit.

“The challenge we have is that different clubs are playing different styles‚” said Notoane‚ who tested his new charges against the Lesotho senior national team in a warm-up friendly in Johannesburg on Monday.

“That’s the challenge with the national teams.

"We have to try to quickly get the synergy right tactically.

“Other teams play with the build-up while others kick the ball high up and play with the second ball.

“Now when you come into this space (national team)‚ you have to go with the players that will fit the national playing philosophy and play the South African way‚ which is having the ball on the ground.

“That’s our strength… to play out quicker.

"Some players are very good in terms of their club performances but now we are bringing a question: can they adapt quickly to the tactical demands of the international football?"

The first leg against the Angolans is on Friday with the return encounter scheduled for Tuesday at the Bidvest Stadium‚ Milpark‚ Johannesburg.

The winner between Notoane’s team and Angola will meet either Zimbabwe‚ Mozambique or eSwatini in a game that will determine who qualifies for the CAF eight-nation Olympic qualifying tournament.

The three teams that finish in the top three will represent Africa in Tokyo next year.

Notoane said trends have shifted because team do not have time to perfect patient build ups.

“It becomes a tricky situation and interestingly on that‚ is that if you watched the previous World Cup (2018) there was a study that came out of it‚" he said.

“In the previous World Cup not a lot of teams were playing with build ups.

"The trend has shifted and part of the reason is simply because national team coaches don’t have the time to perfect build up play. That needs time.

“When you don’t have time you should either have synergy between how the clubs are playing in terms of the philosophy in the country.

“In a country like ours where coaches choose freely how they play the game to win‚ then it poses a challenge.

“Some players will be good in the build-up play and others won’t. So you have to find that balance as a coach‚ which makes it a challenge.”

But despite all these concerns‚ Notoane insisted he was confident of a positive result in Angola even thought he still has to worry about who to leave out in the starting lineup.

“It’s a good headache‚” said Notoane of his challenge to choose the starting 11.

The South Africans will leave for Angola on Wednesday and return back to SA immediately after the match on Friday.

SA qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney under Shakes Mashaba and did it again in 2016 in Rio with Owen da Gama in charge.

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