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Captain not yet released by his Ukraine side

Notoane includes Malepe in Saudi sojourn

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
David Notoane
David Notoane
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

SA Under-23 mentor David Notoane is holding his breath for the availability of his skipper Tercious Malepe for the upcoming back-to-back friendlies against Saudi Arabia away.

In what forms part of the preparations for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, Notoane’s charges will gauge their steadfastness against the Saudis twice, with the first friendly scheduled for November 14 and the second one three days later.

There’s a big possibility that SA will be without skipper Malepe for the two games. Malepe recently joined Ukrainian Premier League club FC Mynai. He was nevertheless named in the squad yesterday.

“Tercious is in Ukraine. They had assured him that they’d release him for international duty, but they have not officially responded to our letter that we need the player,’’ Notoane told Sowetan.

“One has also have to be considerate that he only joined the club last week and common sense would be that they want him to settle in the team. But being the captain of the national team as well, maybe they will consider releasing him.’’

Malepe's absence at the end may not raise eyebrows as the squad picked for the friendlies against Saudi Arabia is made up mainly of local players who’ve recently shown flashes of rich form. These include the likes of Baroka strongman Goodman Mosele, and Bloemfontein Celtic’s Sifiso Ngobeni.

“We have to encourage players to up their game. If players raise their hands, we have no choice but to give them a chance, that’s why this team consists of players who have been on form lately,’’ said Notoane, who doubles up as Mamelodi Sundowns reserves coach.

The Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, start on July 23 until August 8 next year.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Johnson (Cape Town Spurs), Sifiso Mlungwana ( Arrows)

Defenders:Thabiso Monyane (Pirates), Siyabonga Ngezana (Chiefs), Tercious Malepe (Mynai, Ukraine), Katlego Mohamme (AmaTuks), Sibusiso Mabiliso (AmaZulu), Sifiso Ngobeni (Celtic), Njabulo Blom (Chiefs), Given Msimango (TS Galaxy)

Midfielders:

 Athenkosi Dlala (AmaTuks), Goodman Mosele (Baroka), Jamie Webber (SuperSport), Nkosingiphile Ngcobo ( Chiefs), Kamohelo Mahlatsi (Swallows), Leletu Skelem (Stellenbosch), Siphephelo Sithole (Balenenses, Portugal), Sean Roberts (CPT City)

Forwards:

Fagrie Lakay (CPT City), Keletso Makgalwa (Sundowns) Zakhele Lepasa (Pirates), Lyle Foster (Vitoria Guimaraes SC ,Portugal)

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