South Africa Under-23 Head Coach David Notoane was pleased with what he saw after his team beat Golden Arrows 3-1 in a training game on Thursday.
Ashley Du Preez, Keletso Makgalwa and Thabiso Monyane scored for the under-23s, while Nkosinathi Sibisi scored for Arrows.
The Under-23s have been in a camp in Durban this week, after Notoane took the opportunity of the FIFA break to call up locally-based players for a week of training and assessments.
The team will face Maritzburg United in another training game on Saturday.
South Africa qualified for the Tokyo Olympics almost two years ago, but with the event postponed to this year, it has been a difficult process for Notoane, as there has been limited time for him to work with the players.
“Ja, no, we are very, very happy for the game. Very, very competitive,” Notane told SAFA media.
“It had all the elements you can require, you know, in a football match, physical, high tempo, technical, tactical, you know, mental, you could see a lot of our players, they came in hard, pulling out of tackles, but we had to push them to go in.”
“So I’m very, very happy with the game. And we worked on how to deal with a buildup of opponents, trying to press them high up there and kill balls, which we managed to and we managed to score, I think two goals from those situations.”
“So also, from an assessment point, of course, you know, we can see where our players are from a conditioning point, those that are not playing regularly, you could see they’re still sluggish and the ones that are playing regularly, you could see their level is a bit higher.”
“So a game of two halves, although we won but we Okay, it’s a good start in terms of our preparation, okay.”