South Africa’s Under-23 coach David Notoane has announced a 29-member provisional squad ahead of this month’s Morocco 2023 AFCON Second Round qualifier against Togo.
The South Africans had a bye in the First Round while Togo were in action last month, beating Mauritania 2-1 to set up this month’s two-legged date against Notoane’s charges.
Notoane, who led the U23s to the Tokyo Olympics last year, said given that the two matches against Togo will be played outside of the FIFA calendar, he hopes a compromise can be reached between all the stakeholders to allow him to select a strong final squad that can represent the country well during this Olympic journey.
“The squad we selected is a continuation of the camp [held at the South African Football Association’s National Technical Centre in the south of Johannesburg] we had previously in preparation for this official qualifying Round Two match against Togo,” he said.
“So now you see players like Thapelo Maseko and Keagan Johannes coming into contention, hoping that, of course, with the match being outside of the FIFA calendar, we will receive support from the clubs.
“One understands that the programme is going to be intense for a lot of the clubs after the FIFA week, and the demand for bigger squads will be there. But we are mitigating and negotiating with the various clubs to see how we can meet each other halfway to make sure that we have got the strongest final selection to represent South Africa, and help our cause to qualify for a third successive AFCON tournament, and also push to qualify for a third successive Olympic Games.”
Notoane said he watched Togo’s matches against Mauritania, including other footage, and has been analysing his opponents over the last few weeks.
“We have seen Togo, we have got footage of their games against Mauritania in the First Round last month. We are analysing their matches as we speak and the final 23-man squad will be informed by the players who are suited to the challenge that Togo will present for us in terms of this qualifying match.”
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