South Africa’s Under-23 coach David Notoane has backed the squad he has selected to face Togo in a Morocco 2023 AFCON Second Round qualifier to deliver against the West Africans next week.
Notoane has named the players to face the Togolese later this month and he believes they are capable of securing a result away from home in the first leg and finishing the job at home in the return match.
The South Africans had a bye in the First Round while Togo were in action last month, beating Mauritania 2-1 to set up the two-legged date against Notoane’s charges.
“Selecting this squad has been very challenging because we had a bye when Togo faced Mauritania, and we did not have any official practice matches during the previous FIFA window. Now with other teams having played already, they have a sense of where their squads are,” he said.
The two matches against Togo will be played outside of the FIFA calendar and Notoane, who led the U23s to the Tokyo Olympics last year, said he hopes all the players will be available to represent the country well during this Olympic journey.
“We had to put together a team that will be able to give us an advantage in the first leg, secure a victory first, try not to concede and come away with a clean sheet in Togo, which will be very difficult in a hostile environment and with altitude also a very important factor to consider.
“So with [PSL] teams rendering certain players unavailable due to their hectic programmes, and also looking at the fact that some players will be required to honour their club commitments up until Wednesday, we had to find a very good balance in making sure we have a squad that is strong enough to compete, and fresh enough to be able to deal with the conditions in West Africa, in Togo.
“In terms of selecting the players, we had a lot of engagements with the PSL, with the clubs directly to see which players are available. We also requested some fixtures, especially in the ABC Motsepe League, to be moved. Those are some of the challenges we had to overcome in finalizing the squad. But one is confident that we have put together a team that will be strong enough, competitive enough and we should be able to come out of Togo with something positive.
“We have even gone further and looked at the South African Under-20 squad playing in the COSAFA tournament in Swaziland and a few of the players there have shown tremendous talent and ability. Seeing that they are already active and in competition, we are also considering selecting one or two of them to give us depth and options due to the unavailability of certain players.”
|Lincoln VYVER||Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)|
|Bontle MOLEFE||Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)|
|Olwethu MZIMELA||Amazulu FC (SA)|
|Wayne DORTLEY||Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)|
|Kamogelo MAHLANGU||TS Galaxy FC (SA)|
|Zuko MDUNYELWA||Chippa Utd FC (SA)|
|Siyanda MSANI||Richards Bay FC (SA)|
|Khaya MFECANE||Cape Town Spurs FC ( SA)|
|Keagan ALLEN||Moroka Swallows FC (SA)|
|Kerwin PETERS||All Stars FC (SA)|
|Thabiso SESANE||All Stars FC (SA)|
|Jayden ADAMS||Stellenbosch FC (SA)|
|Ethan BROOKS||Amazulu FC (SA)|
|Oswin ANDRIES||Stellenbosch FC (SA)|
|Sifiso MBIDANA||Pretoria Callies FC (SA)|
|Oswin APPOLIS||Pretoria Callies FC (SA)|
|Ashley CUPIDO||Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)|
|Antonio Van Wyk||Stellenbosch FC (SA)|
|Azola MATROSE||Chippa FC (SA)|
|Chumani BUTSAKA||Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)|
|Dan NDLOVU||Baroka FC (SA)|
|Cassius MAILULA||Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)|
|Mduduzi SHABALALA||Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)|
|Aphelele TETO||TS Galaxy FC (SA)|
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