Notoane confident of players’ availability for Afcon U23

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With qualification to the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) U23 tournament now in the bag, the focus now shifts to the preparations for the eight-team tournament for South African U23 side head coach David Notoane.

The South African U23 saw off neighbours Zimbabwe 5-0 on aggregate to advance to the AFCON tournament in Egypt from the eighth until the 22nd of November this year.

The top three teams in this tournament will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

But with some matches falling outside the international week, we asked Notoane if there are guarantees that most of the players will be available.

Prior to the previous U23 Afcon in Senegal which led to Owen Da Gama’s team qualifying to the Rio Olympics in 2016, the PSL did suspend its fixtures to allow the clubs to release the players.

But it’s the overseas clubs that could have challenges and Notoane is hoping that sanity will prevail.

Flying winger Gift Links who jetted off to Denmark to link up with his new team Aarhus GF last night says during the negotiations one of the primary conditions he discussed was to be allowed to come and play in the Afcon U23.

SA have joined hosts Egypt, neighbours Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Ivory Coast and Ghana in the Afcon tournament.

With a string presence of Western African countries in this tournament, Notoane only has one international week next month to utilize for preparations and is also thinking about a West African tournament tour. – Report by Velile Mnyandu