Mathoho,The Olympics offers one an opportunity to mix with top international athletes

Mathoho,The Olympics offers one an opportunity to mix with top international athletes
Madoda Ntuli

Madoda Ntuli

Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho has expressed delight to be selected for South Africa’s Under-23s taking part in Brazil’s Rio Olympics next month. “I am over the moon,” the lanky defender reacts. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. The Olympics is a stage that every player wishes to grace in their career.”

Mathoho was selected together with his Amakhosi teammate, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. The two are selected in the three spaces allowed for over-aged players.

“The Olympics offers one an opportunity to mix with top international athletes,” adds the 26-year-old defender.

With regard to his age and experience in the squad, Mathoho responds: “Even though age is a factor in sports, I think current trends show that even players as young as 17 can play in big leagues and teams. I am certain to make a contribution in the squad as well as learn from the experience.”

Mathoho and Khune will join Owen da Gama’s squad for training sessions on Sunday, 17 July, and Monday, 18 July.

However, the two will play in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 30 July, after which they will fly to Brazil the following day to join South Africa’s Under-23s.

“I am grateful for this opportunity,” concludes Mathoho. “Playing for Chiefs has really opened doors for me and the hard work pays as well.”

The defender also assures the Amakhosi that it is all systems go for the new season: “The pre-season training is going according to plan. We are almost ready to start what we believe will be a good season.”

South Africa’s U-23 Men’s Olympics Fixtures:

Thursday 4 August

Brazil vs SA – 4 Aug
Mané Garrincha Stadium
Brasília
16h00 (21h00 SA Time)

Sunday 7 August

Denmark vs South Africa
Mané Garrincha Stadium
Brasília
19h00 (02h00 Monday, 8 August, SA Time)

Wednesday 10 August

South Africa vs Iraq
Corinthians Arena
São Paulo
22h00 (03h00 Thursday, 11 August, SA Time)

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