Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
10 Jun 2021
3:41 pm

SA Under-23 coach Notoane speaks of challenges ahead of Egypt clash

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

"It’s a very difficult camp, but other than that we are soldiering on and we are grateful for the opportunity that Egypt have given us," said Notoane.

David Notoane's SA Under-23s will play Egypt in a friendly on Thursday. (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

As David Notoane gears up his South African Under-23 team for their first of the two friendly games against Egypt, head coach Notoane says his side is faced with difficulties ahead of the match at New Suez Stadium on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Notoane makes changes to SA Under-23 squad ahead of Egypt friendlies

The Under-23 coach speaks about having had less time to get his team ready for the first encounter, while other players have been on off-season for some time.

“We are looking forward to our first game. But it will be difficult because we only had two days of preparation having arrived in Egypt yesterday (Tuesday). But we are looking forward to the match and what the boys can do,” said Notoane.

“The other challenge we have is that some other players have been off season for the last week and a half. They have been training alone which is different from training in a team environment. However, we have to dust them off as quickly as possible and integrate them into the two games series against Egypt without compromising their long term availability through injuries.

“So, it’s a very difficult camp, but other than that we are soldiering on and we are grateful for the opportunity that Egypt have given us to see how far the players have come from the last time we saw them,” added the former Santos player.

The team has faced many difficulties prior to travelling to Egypt with some players being left out due to Covid-19. Initially, the SA Under-23 had planned to travel with 25 players, but only 21 players departed to the North African country.

Notoane is utilising the friendly games against Egypt to asses his team with the main objective being selecting the squad that will be representing the country at the Tokyo Olympics next month.
The second friendly match will be played on 13 June.