Head coach of the the South African U-23 Men’s Nationa Team, David Notoane, says his players are ready to take on Angola in the crucial CAF 2020 Olympic qualifier scheduled for Estadio 11 de Novembro on Friday afternoon (22 March 2019).
The first leg clash kicks off at 17h00 SA time.
The team landed in Luanda, the capital of Angola, on Wednesday afternoon (20 March 2019) and went straight into training where Notoane said he could not have asked for a better response from his players.
“I think the boys are ready with regards to Friday’s encounter and I believe we have prepared as much as we can. We have worked on tactical elements with all the information we have gathered around our opponents,” said Notoane in his final briefing before Friday’s first leg match.
The wily coach said his technical team had managed to get the Angolan squad and analysed it thoroughly. They had even managed to profile some of the opposition players.
“I can safely say we are good to go now,” he said adding that the stifling humid conditions were nothing to worry about.
“We knew Angola is a bit humid and it’s not as bad as one would have anticipated. The boys have had a feel of the weather and that is great. It is more or less the same as where we come from in Gauteng, so nothing to complain about from that perspective,” added Notaone.
The Mamelodi Sundowns MDC head coach said his team has been received well by their hosts, but what is paramount for the squad is to get onto the pitch and do the business.
“The reception has been good and one must give credit to the hosts. The hotel is good, the hospitality great, so are the training fields and we need to acknowledge that. So one cannot complain as far as general reception is concerned. Now we wait for Friday and see how the humidity will affect play,” he said, adding that although he had assembled a talented squad, which has been hailed by the public and media as a good and balanced side, he didn’t want to pay much attention to that.
“This is the future of South Africa football, we have a responsibility to give them the platform to showcase their talent, and indicate that they can take the country forward in terms of football. Yes, it is a talented squad, but one has to be cautious because many great players have hit bumps when not guided properly.
“But it is a fact that we have a balanced team, which should bring out the results we want to achieve.”
The second leg will take place at Bidvest Wits next Tuesday, 26 March 2019.
SA U-23 squad vs Angola
Darren JOHNSON (Ajax Cape Town), Khulekani KUBHEKA (Cape Umoya FC), Andile MBANJWANA (Richards Bay FC)
Thendo MUKUMELO (Ajax Cape Town), Keanu CUPIDO (Cape Town City FC), Siyabonga NGEZANA (Kaizer Chiefs FC), Kabelo SERIBA (FC Metta, LATVIA), Katlego MOHAMME (Supersport United), Sandile MTHETHWA (Richards Bay FC), Bongani SAM (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Teboho MOKOENA (Supersport United), Athenkosi DLALA (Supersport United), Tercious MALEPE (Chippa United), Gift LINKS (Cape Town FC), Kamohelo MAHLATSI (Supersport United), Grant MARGEMAN (Ajax Cape Town), Jamie WEBBER (Supersport United), Thabo CELE (Cova da Piedade FC, PORTUGAL)
Luther SINGH (GD Chaves FC, PORTUGAL), Phakamani MAHLAMBI (Sundowns), Lyle FOSTER (AS Monaco FC, FRANCE), Jemondre DICKENS (Baroka FC), Keletso MAKGALWA (Sundowns), Khanyisa MAYO (Royals Eagles FC)