David Notaane hopes clubs will release his players after recalling a preliminary 29-man squad ahead of South Africa’s under-23 trial to qualify for next year’s African Under-23 Cup of Nations in Morocco.
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The SA Under-23s will play Togo in the second round of the qualifiers later this month, but Notaan has some problems getting the players he wants as the Afcon junior qualifiers are not part of the official FIFA calendar.
Having recently held a 10-day camp with the players to assess the squad, Notaan says the recent squad he called up is a continuation of the camp held at the South African Football Association (Safa) Technical Centre.
“The squad we have chosen is a continuation of the camp we had earlier in preparation for this official second round qualifier against Togo,” Notaane told Safa.neet.
“So now you’re seeing players like Topela Maseka and Keegan Johannes come into contention, hoping that of course the match isn’t on the FIFA calendar, we’ll get support from the clubs.”
“It is clear that the program will be intense for many clubs after the FIFA week and there will be demand for bigger teams.
“But we are … in talks with various clubs to see how we can meet each other halfway to make sure we get the strongest final selection to represent South Africa and help our cause to qualify for a third consecutive Afcon , as well as make it to the third Olympic Games in a row.
“Notaane went on to reveal that he had done his homework on their opponents and the final squad would be selected based on the players they felt could stand up to Togo.
“We have seen Togo, we have video footage of their games against Mauritania in the first round last month. As we speak, we are analyzing their matches and the final 23-man squad will be made up of players who are up to the task that Togo sets before us in this qualifier.”