Pretoria News

Tough choices await Notoane

- MIHLALI BALEKA

THE national Under-23 team’s 40-man provisiona­l squad which coach David Notoane named for the Tokyo Olympics looks good on paper, but the odds are stacked against him to have every player available for the preparatio­ns and tournament.

Take nothing away from the fact that this is still a provisiona­l squad, meaning that 18 players will be cut when Notoane announces his final squad – which will have four travelling reserves – a few weeks before the Games.

But the U23s’ last preparatio­n camp in June, where he would have hoped to see all 40 players before choosing his final Olympic squad, might not go according to plan, given that Bafana

Bafana will also be in camp, playing in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Notoane has selected seven overage players in his provisiona­l squad – Percy Tau, Ronwen Williams, Themba Zwane, Mosa Lebusa, Ricardo Goss, Mothobi Mvala and Thapelo Morena – albeit being only able to select three for his final squad.

Of course, Bafana takes priority – so Notoane has to be selfless.

But with Bafana still in search of a new coach after releasing Molefi Ntseki who failed to guide the team to the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, Notoane still has to forge some relations with his new senior.

And that might take some time, especially if the new commander in chief is new to South African football. Despite that, whoever lands the Bafana head coaching role is already under pressure to hit the ground running in the World Cup qualifiers after the team’s misfortune­s in reaching next year’s Afcon.

As a result, he will need players at his disposal. his best

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