National under-23 Head Coach David Notoane was pleased with how things went at the camp he held for locally-based players over this international break.
The under-23s camped in Durban and played training games against DStv Premiership sides Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United.
Speaking after a their 1-0 win over Maritzburg on Saturday, Notoane says he got to look at a number of things at the camp, and he feels the team has made some progress, as they continue to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“Ja, look today’s game was a very very difficult game, interesting game, tactical game, so I think from how we wanted the team to set up, the changes that we’ve made, because we mixed our permutations a little bit, I would say fairly happy,” Notane told SAFA media.
“The result of course is good but the performance, we huffed and puffed through, of course as we figuring out the permutations, change of system of play, then we could see which players can function better in what formation, so I think from that perspective the game was good today.”
“We collected a lot of good information, another physical game, competitive game, the good thing that one is happy about is the amount of chances we still continue to create, especially from defending high up the pitch trying to stop the buildup of the opponents, from both games we created a lot of good moments and opportunities from that. We can improve in terms of taking those chances.”
He was impressed with his goalkeepers, Mondli Moto and Ricardo Goss, who both saved penalties in the match.
“We conceded two penalties, you know again I’d bemoaned the standard of referee from both games, but it’s what it is, so the fact that we played Mondli (Mpoto), we played Ricardo Goss, and rested (Sifisio) Mlungwana because he gets a lot of game time with Arrows, I think showed that both keepers stopped penalties, so the problem that we had in the goalkeeping department at this stage, I think we’ve got a also a very very good measure of where we are.”
“One takes a little bit of comfort to know that at least we will we will be stable going into the tournament in the department and whether we take an over aged keeper, an experienced keeper or we go on with the two younger ones, we’ll make that decision at the right time, but I’m taking a lot of confidence and comfortability knowing that even though Mondli is not playing regularly at Celtic, Ricardo is not playing regularly at Sundowns, so they can stand up to the test that is before us going forward.”