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Notoane – Four Players Out Of SA’s U23 Side

David Notoane has confirmed from Egypt that he will be without four players when his national under-23 team faces Egypt in two friendlies this week.

There have been two withdrawals, with Kobamelo Kodisang and Grant Margeman not making the trip, while Fagrie Lakay and Kamohelo Mahlatsi are nursing injuries.

With just 21 players remaining, Notoane says they had tried to call up Promise Mkhuma, but he was unable to join the team, however Notoane is hoping that Kgaogelo Sekgotha could still join the team in Egypt.

“Ja, we’ve arrived and traveled safely to Cairo in Egypt. So at the moment, of course, it’s very, very hot in Egypt,” Notoane said from Cairo. 

“In terms of preparations things have been very, very difficult for us. We left with almost three quarters of the players we’ve called up, we’ve had a few withdrawals due to covid, and our foreign based players have joined us, Luke Le Roux and Liam Jordan.

“Thabo Cele traveled with us from South Africa, with the rest of the foreign-based crew, Luther Singh and Lyle Foster. Unfortunately, Kobamelo Kodisang couldn’t join us. Grant Margeman cannot join us. We tried to replace with Promise Mkhuma, who also couldn’t join us. 

“And ja, so it’s what we have here now, from a squad of 25, we are now down to 21. And we’ll just go through the two games with these players that are at our disposal at this point in time. We trying to see if we can bring over Kgaomelo Sekgotha, because we also carrying injuries on Fagrie Lakay and Kamohelo Mahlatsi. 

“So we have to nurse them through this camp at the moment, coming from end of the season. 

“So yes, we’re looking forward to our first game, which will be difficult because we only have two days of preparation after arriving in Egypt yesterday. But ja, we look forward to the match and see what the boys can do. 

“The other challenge we have is, of course, some of the players have been offseason for the last week and a half, training on their own, which is different to training in a team environment. However, we have to dust them off as quickly as possible and integrate them into the two game series against Egypt, without compromising their long term availability through injury. 

“So it’s a very difficult camp. But other than that, we are soldiering on, and we are grateful for the opportunity that Egypt have given us to be able to see how far the players have come from the last time we’ve seen them.”

Notoane exclusively spoke to iDiski Times senior writer Velile Mnyandu about everything related to South Africa’s U23 Olympics preparations, touching on players such as Percy Tau, Kgaogelo Chauke, Gift Links and many others. You can buy it in the shops or online here:

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