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Notoane Confident For Olympics Despite Egypt Losses

South African national under-23 head coach David Notoane says that despite the disappointing results against Egypt in two friendlies, he feels confident SA will have a competitive squad.

Notoane was speaking after his team returned to South Africa, following the 2-0 and 3-0 loss over the Pharaos U23 side last week.

The coach says that it was a good opportunity to bring in many of the overseas-based players, and there are positives they can take from the matches, as they continue their preparations for next month’s Tokyo Olympics

“Ja, we went to Egypt, we just returned now,” Notoane told SAFA’s media department.

“So from the two matches we played against Egypt and the tour itself, it was a very, very rewarding tour, in terms of what we wanted to see.

“Bringing in our overseas based players, Thabo Cele, Luke Le Roux, Lyle Foster, Luther Singh especially. And of course Tercious Malepe has also been out for a long time. Liam Jordan, you know, so we had in this team, at least one third of the squad being overseas based players. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Kobamelo Kodisang, with COVID, Gift Links as well with his club issues.

“So ja, from performance point, disappointing results, disappointing. But in terms of the state of growth that some of these players have shown, one takes a lot of positives from that regard, and understanding as well that there’s a few of our core players that we left behind, and even the other ones that have done very well, in the PSL, end of last season, and then I think we’ll have a very good blend of a squad to prepare fully now for the Olympics.

“We played a very, very good very organized Champions of Africa, Egypt, who are in rhythm, playing Champions League, most of their players from Al Ahly, Pyramids and Zamalek. And you could see that them being right in the middle of the season was a big difference from a physical competitive edge, that they got from the two games against us who have been, one week, two weeks off, some players three weeks off.

“So I think that was a big, big big factor in the matches themselves. But I’m happy that we got these matches.”

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