1 April 2021- The South African under-23 National team have completed a one-week training camp in eThekwini.
The camp which was funded by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation is part of the preparations for the delayed Tokyo Olympics now scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan from 23 July-8 August 2021.
Going into the camp, under-23 coach David Notoane had stated that the camp was important in enhancing technical understanding, assessing new players to see how they adjust as well as what each player had to offer to the team.
The eThekwini camp commenced on Monday 22 March 2021 with Notoane’s charges undergoing intense training before partaking in two practice matches against KwaZulu-Natal based teams Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United, winning 3-1 and 1-0 respectively.
Notoane expressed his satisfaction with the results achieved from camp after the team’s 1-0 victory against Maritzburg United in their final practice match at Harry Gwala stadium. Evidence Makgopa scored the only goal of the game.
“In terms of players settling in, we were able to integrate personalities into the team. We got a good measure of mental toughness, social cohesion and where different players are,”said Notoane.
“The camp further allowed us to assess the problem we had in the goalkeeping department and gave us a good measure of where we are with our three goalkeepers; Ricardo Goss, Sifiso Mlungwane and Mondli Mpoto.
‘’One takes comfort to know that we will be stable in that department going into the tournament, whether we take an over-age goalkeeper or two younger ones, the decision will be made at the right time but I am confidence in that position.’’
Asked about the defence department which Notoane had stated will be one of the major focuses coming into the training camp, the coach did not hold back from heaping praises for young Supersport United defender Luke Fleurs who is a new addition in the squad.
“I should indicate that I am very happy with the new talent in the team Luke Fleurs, very steady player, he fitted very nicely and the synergy between him and the players that have been with us for a very long time was very good, his ball distribution was also impressive. That gives us 50% towards the solution in that department”.
“In terms of our permutations upfront when it comes to the final selection, it changes our dynamics a little bit. I am happy that in this camp we are 50% away from a solution. We will see in the next camps coming forward if we can indeed form a solid and stable block that can help us maximize our opportunities upfront with a lot of talented and explosive players that we have,’’ concluded Notoane.
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