Windhoek – The South Africa men’s Under-23 national team’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games have gone a gear up with coach David Notoane naming 25 players to represent the nation in a tourney in the United Arab Emirates from June 5 to 11.
The UAE tour is part of the team’s preparation for the rescheduled Summer Games, which will run from July 22 July to August 8 after being shelved last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the UAE, South Africa are in the same pool as Argentina, Brazil and Korea.
“The upcoming camp in Dubai is one that kick-starts our preparation for the Olympic Games. It is also aimed at integrating our foreign best players to see what they can bring into the group in terms of increasing the team quality and addressing key challenging positions,” said Notoane.
An overseas-based contingent of Cardiff City’s Siyabonga Ligendza, Aarhus GF’s Neo Gift Links and four players plying their trade in Portugal is part of the UAE tour.
This will be the fourth preparation camp for the squad.
“We hope that we can get all the players that we require to integrate them during this vital preparation camp against Brazil, Korea and Argentina. It will also give us a good measure in terms of the level of our players’ state of preparedness for the Tokyo Olympics later in July,” Notoane said.At the Tokyo Games, Amagluglug – as the SA men’s U23 side is known – are in Group A with hosts, Japan, whom they play in the opening match on July 22. The team then takes on France on July 25 before rounding up the group phase campaign against Mexico on July 28.