SA under-23 coach Notoane gunning for a positive result in Luanda to avoid pressure at home

SA Under-23 head coach David Notoane is on a mission to qualify the team for both the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
SA Under-23 head coach David Notoane is on a mission to qualify the team for both the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

Wrapping up the match with a convincing victory in the first leg away from home is what SA Under 23 coach David Notoane will be looking for when his side tackle Angola in the 2020 Olympic play-off in Luanda on Friday (5pm SA Time).

“Look I’m the kind of coach that plays to win‚” said Notoane.

“We have to strike the balance between playing our football.

“You know we are developing this team‚ we are actually taking it forward because this is the same team that’s been in the programme since Under 17‚ Under 20 and Under 23.

“They understand this level of competition and I was very happy to see the practice match we played against the Lesotho senior national team (on Monday).

"Immediately the synergy and cohesion was there.

“So it’s important for us to go out there and win. We play every game to win it‚ not go and play defensive football.

“Of course you have to find the right balance.

"We have to demonstrate the attributes of SA football… take control of the ball‚ find the right moments to penetrate and create chances.”

But Notoane admitted that the failure to find the back of the net consistently remains South African football's biggest shortcoming and he should known‚ given that he was a prolific striker in his playing days.

“The biggest issue still remains‚ which is that of scoring goals in our national playing philosophy‚” said Notoane.

“We are not scoring enough goals.

"That’s an area we will focus on to ensure that we deliver players that can score goals for Bafana Bafana.”

Notoane said it was unrealistic to expect national team coaches to shoulder the responsibility of fine-tuning strikers when they spend so little time with them.

“At our level you can’t have an answer because the players spend most of their time at their clubs‚” he said.

“I think the biggest issue that I see is down to the individuals sometimes.

“How much time individually do they spend working on finishing?

“One finds that a lot of times our offensive players rely on coaches' training sessions.

“But to score you need to be hitting that ball at the back of the net on your own‚ at least every second day if not everyday.

“It’s like a golfer.

"If a golfer hasn’t gone to the driving range and worked on his swing and his putt‚ you can never go in the tournament and deliver good underscores.

“So it’s the same for us.

"If the boys are not really focused on working on their finishing touches‚ the technique‚ the right movements‚ the right anticipation and the right reaction.

“So all these things require constant concentration and repetitive practice. I don’t think our players are doing enough of that individually.

“Maybe us as coaches we are not paying too much attention into that‚ I don’t know.”

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