Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
23 Jun 2021
4:19 pm

OPINION: Notoane’s ‘leaked’ Tokyo 2020 selection is an absolute shocker

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Where on earth are Luther Singh and Lyle Foster?

SA Under-23 coach David Notoane has named his final squad for the Olympics (Piicture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

If that leaked South African Tokyo 2020 football squad is anything to go by, then there is something totally wrong with the selectors and head coach David Notoane.

This week, Soccer Laduma published a leaked final list of 23 players that are set to represent the country at the Tokyo 2020 men’s football tournament next month.

I was shocked when I looked at the list as I went through it name by name. I realised that there are some important names missing there.

There is no Tercious Malepe, there is no Luther Singh, there is no Lyle Foster or Kobamelo Kodisang in the squad! How?

Instead, I came across the likes of Katlego Mohamme, Athenkosi Dlala and Keletso Makgalwa – again, how?

I really don’t know the reasons behind Mohamme, Dlala and Makgwala’s inclusion. I understand that at some point, these three players had potential to be some of the best players in the country, having played for junior national teams from Under-17 upwards.

But, looking at them now, many of their peers have surpassed them and should be included in the Olympic squad.

For example, Notoane and his selectors have picked Mohamme ahead of Tercious Malepe, who was a regular at his club FK Minaj in Ukraine.

What’s even surprising is the inclusion of Thabiso Kutumela as one of the three older players. Yes, the striker might have done well this past season with Maritzburg United, but in order to have progression from junior national teams to senior team, then young players should be left to do the job for themselves as the new Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is aiming to build a team based on young talent.

You have Singh and Foster, who are both top talents in our striking department, but you decide to exclude them?

In fact, I think it’s best Notoane leaves out the older players on the list, including goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and Abbubaker Mobara.

If this is the list that will be submitted to Sascoc at the end of the month, then my advice to Notoane will be to go back and re-look and re-evaluate.