“I am looking forward to doing justice to the faith shown in me by doing my utmost best to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said David Notoane. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – David Notoane has been named as the new coach of South Africa’s Olympic Under-23 squad.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the South African Football Association (Safa) official Jack Maluleke, who is the chairperson of the national football body’s technical committee.

Notoane, who is currently coach of Mamelodi Sundowns MDC side, is not new to national team assignments.

He led Amajita to the historic Commonwealth Cup title in Russia in 2015, before helping Thabo Senong as his assistant during the Caf Under-20 8-Nations tournament in Senegal the same year.

He reached the final of the Durban annual Under-19 International tournament in 2016, before losing to eventual winners Arsenal.

“I am very excited about this project, and I am looking forward to doing justice to the faith shown in me by doing my utmost best to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said.

“I would want to take this opportunity to thank the Association, especially President Danny Jordaan and head of the technical committee, Mr Maluleke, for the faith shown in me.

“And not forgetting my club Mamelodi Sundowns, who allowed me to take up this latest challenge,” added Notoane, who said he had already started identifying players for the upcoming assignment.

The SA Olympic team will begin their journey for Tokyo 2020 with a first-round match against Angola, away on Friday, 22 March, with the return leg scheduled for Tuesday, 26 March.

The overall winner of this encounter will play either against one of Zimbabwe, eSwatini (Swaziland) or Mozambique for a ticket to the 8-Nations tournament scheduled for Egypt in November this year, where three top countries will qualify for Tokyo 2020.

In making the announcement, Maluleke said that in Notoane, they had a proven and loyal servant of South African football.

“We have full confidence in David, and we are very hopeful that with him at the helm, we will qualify for our successive Olympic tournament, following Rio in 2016,” said Maluleke.

African News Agency (ANA)