SA under-23 coach Notoane's focus on centre back position as team continues preparation for Tokyo Olympics
The SA under-23 national team assembled in Durban on Sunday as they continue preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Coach David Notoane has named a 24-man squad of only locally-based players for a training camp that started on March 21 and will conclude on March 29.
“We would have loved to have our overseas-based players but that was hindered by Covid-19 regulations‚” said Notoane.
The training camp is a second wave of preparations for the team as they kicked off with two friendly games away against Saudi Arabia in Jeddah in November last year‚ losing 3-2 in the first match and drawing 1-1 in the second.
The SA Football Association did not provide details of the training camp but the team is expected to play practice matches against some of the top teams from KwaZulu-Natal during the international break.
Notoane said the training camp is aimed at enhancing technical understanding and assessing new players in the team to how they adjust.
‘’The aim of this camp is to bring the local group together and assess them‚ especially those who are new in the set-up like Ashley Du Preez of Stellenbosch FC‚” said Notoane.
“We further want to sort out our centre back position and make sure that when the time comes for selection‚ we are ready.”
Notoane played the centre-back pairing of Ukraine-based captain Tercious Malepe and Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs in the two friendly matches in Saudi Arabia in November.
TS Galaxy captain Given Msimango‚ Cape Town City’s Keanu Cupido‚ Luke Fleurs from SuperSport United‚ Chippa United’s Sandile Mthethwa and Katleho Mohamme of University of Pretoria are some of the options available for Notoane at centre back.
Notoane would have been impressed after Ngezana started for Chiefs in the league Soweto derby win over rivals Orlando Pirates on Sunday along with fellow under-23 national teammates Reeve Frosler‚ Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Happy Mashiane.
Sifiso Mlungwana (Golden Arrows FC)‚ Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic)‚ Ricardo Goss (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Sandile Mthethwa (Chippa United FC)‚ Katlego Mohamme (University of Pretoria FC)‚ James Thabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirates FC)‚ Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Sifiso Ngobeni (Bloemfontein Celtic FC)‚ Mlebogo Modise (Maritzburg United FC)‚ Given Msimango (TS Galaxy FC)‚ Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City FC‚ Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United FC)
Athenkosi Dladla (University of Pretoria FC)‚ Goodman Mosele (Baroka FC)‚ Kamohelo Abel Mahlatsi (Swallows FC)‚ Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United FC)‚ Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Happy Mashiane (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Grant Margeman (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)‚ Kgaogelo Sekota (Swallows FC)
Fagrie Lakay (Cape Town City)‚ Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC)‚ Ashley Du Preez (Stellenbosch FC)‚ Keletso Makgalwa (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)