South African national U-23 head coach David Notoane says he will use this week’s international friendly matches against hosts Egypt in Cairo to test players who are new in his set up for next month’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

The team departed for Cairo on Monday where they will play two friendly matches on Friday and Sunday.

Notoane has called up players like Orlando Pirates’ Thabiso Monyane, Kaizer Chiefs’ Happy Mashiane and Real Kings’ Khanyisa Mayo as he tries to prepare for any challenges that could arise when selecting his finally squad for the AFCON tournament at the end of this month.

Notoane says the plans to tour Egypt were made before the draw was conducted last week where they have been placed in Group B alongside neighbours Zambia, defending champions Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Speaking just before their first training session at Marks Park in Johannesburg on Monday, Notoane says getting a team that will do the business is what he’s looking to build from this camp.

With the games in next month’s tournament set to be held at the Cairo International stadium and Al Salam stadium in the capital town, Notoane says they will use this opportunity to also acclimatise in Egypt.

Orlando Pirates right wing back Thabiso Monyane has also had a very good start with the Buccaneers despite the results not having been favourable to his side.

He’s graduating from the Amajita team that went to the FIFA U20 World Cup a few months ago and addresses the pertinent question about which position suits him the best. Report by Velile Mnyandu