SA U23 medically cleared to proceed with Saudi Arabia friendlies

South Africa’s National Under-23 side will have their first training session today following a two-day quarantine they had in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia leading up to the two international friendly matches against the hosts.

That training session will take place at King Abdulaziz Sport City Stadium this afternoon, leading up to their tomorrow’s (14 November) first friendly encounter against Saudi Arabia at the very same venue at 19h30.

National Under-23 captain Tercious Malepe stated that they are expecting a challenging encounter from their opponents, one that they are really driven to win.

The second friendly match will take place on 17 November at the very same match venue at 17h00.

“This match will be good for us after having not played together as a squad for so long,” Malepe said. “It will also give us the opportunity to gauge how far we are and still need to go as we continue with the process of preparing for next year’s Olympic Games.

“Our intention is to push for a win in this tie and nothing else,” Malepe added. “The same mindset will be applied in our  second friendly match against them as well. Winning every match in every preparation fixture we feature in, will play a key role in building our confidence going into next year’s global sporting event.”

The Minaj FC centre-back also stated that it would be a dream come true for him to feature in his second Olympic Games, this time, as the captain of the team. However, Malepe alluded to the fact that he would have to first earn his place just like anybody else in the squad, if he is ever to realise that goal.

“The thing about the national team is that no one is guaranteed a place in the squad or starting line-up,” Malepe said. “This is one thing that you will have to consistently work and fight to get. You earn your place. I am well aware of that fact and I am willing to consistently work at proving my worth to the team at any given day.

“Going to my second Olympic Games is one dream that I would really like to achieve.”

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