Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Notoane shrugs off warm-up defeats ahead of Tokyo Olympics

'It was a very rewarding tour,' insisted the SA Under-23 head coach.

South African national Under-23 coach David Notoane says they will concentrate on the positives, despite two poor results against Egypt in their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

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The South Africans played two friendly games against the Egypt, losing the first  2-0 and the second 3-0 in Cairo on Sunday.

Even though the team’s display is something the Under-23 coach wasn’t happy about, he insists that they got something out of the two matches.

“It was a very rewarding tour in terms of what we wanted to see , bringing our overseas based players like Thabo Cele, Luke le Roux, Lyle Foster, Luther Singh and of course, Tercious Malepe. They have been out (of the squad) for a long time, Liam Jordan also. So, in this squad we had one third of overseas based players in the squad. Unfortunately we couldn’t get Kobamelo Kodisang because of Covid-19, Gift Links as well with his club issues,” said the national team coach.

From a performance point, it’s disappointing …  but in terms of the state of growth some of these players have showed, we take a lot of positives in that regard, understanding as well that there is a few of our core players that we left behind and other ones who did well in the PSL last season. We played very organised champions of Africa, Egypt, who are in a great rhythm. Most of their players play in the Champions League from Al-Ahly, Pyramids and Zamalek.”

The SA Under-23 squad returned home on Monday. Notoane’s side have been drawn in Group A at the Olympics, alongside hosts Japan, France and Mexico. Their first match is scheduled to be played on July 22.

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