Under-23 coach David Notoane hits ground running

New SA under-23 coach David Notoane.
New SA under-23 coach David Notoane.

The man tasked with guiding the national team to qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games has accepted the challenge with both hands despite the odds.

New SA under-23 coach David Notoane was appointed last week to take over the reins that had been vacant for nearly two years since Owen da Gama left.

Notoane has been thrown in the deep end just weeks before the second round qualifiers for the Tokyo Games next year.

The under-23s will take on Angola on March 22 in Luanda before the return leg at home on March 26.

The Atteridgeville-born tactician has expressed honour for getting the job and has no time to complain about the short preparation time.

"It's true that I would have loved to have more time but this is the reality that we are faced with and we need to hit the ground running," Notoane told Sowetan.

"I am excited for the opportunity and the recognition for my hard work over the years. I am humbled by the recognition from the association and the support I have been receiving from everybody."

With the squad announcement set for Monday, the 50-year-old Notoane will select players with international experience as a continuation from the 2015 Fifa Under-17 World Cup and 2017 Fifa Under-20 World Cup squads.

"The experience of those players who have played in the World Cups will surely come in handy and, of course, those who raise their hand in the PSL will be considered," the 2016/2017 Multichoice Diski Challenge winning coach said.

"We might not have enough time to bring in new players but we will have a strong team that understands the dynamic of international football."

The former striker has been allowed to continue to coach Mamelodi Sundowns reserve team until the end of the season.

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