Indications are that Bafana Bafana stars Percy Tau and Themba Zwane could make the cut in South Africa’s Under-23 team that is headed to the Olympic Games in Japan later this year.
The pair was named by coach David Notoane in his provisional squad for the Games.
Tau (26) and Zwane (31) are among the seven “overage” players Notoane announced in the build-up to the multicoded event that is scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.
The Olympic football tournament is usually restricted to Under-23 teams for the men’s tournament, but three overage players are allowed per team.
“I will continue to assess the players until we have the final 22. The aim is to continue the performance assessment of the selected players based on continuity and the need to strengthen the team for the final selection,’’ said Notoane during a press conference that coincided with this week’s 100-day countdown to the games.
The South Africans played friendly matches over two legs against Saudi Arabia in that country in November and, like the rest of the world, were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns and restrictions on travel.
In a rare chance, Notoane used the recent Fifa international break to conduct a training camp with only local-based players in Durban last month.
The players who are based abroad could not be part of the camp due to travel restrictions.
South Africa, together with Egypt and Ivory Coast, are Africa’s representatives at the Olympics.
The official draw for the football competition will be held in Tokyo on April 21.
SA’s Under-23 preliminary squad
Goalkeepers: Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Sifiso Mlungwana (Golden Arrows)
Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs)
Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United)
Repo Tercious Malepe (Minaj FC, Ukraine)
Katlego Mohamme (University of Pretoria)
Thabiso James Monyane (Orlando Pirates)
Thendo Mukumela (Cape Town Spurs)
Sifiso Ngobeni (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Bongani Sam (Orlando Pirates)
Athenkosi Dlala (University of Pretoria FC)
Luke Le Roux (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden)
Khanya Leshabela (Leicester City, England)
Kobamelo Kodisang (Sporting Braga B, Portugal)
Gift Links (Aarhus, Denmark)
Kamohelo Mahlatsi (Moroka Swallows)
Keletso Makgalwa (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Grant Margeman (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Kgaugelo Chauke (Southampton, England)
Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United)
Happy Mashiane (Kaizer Chiefs)
Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United)
Nkosiphilile Ngcobo (Kaizer Chiefs)
Goodman Mosele (Baroka FC)
Kgaogelo Sekota (Moroka Swallows)
Sithole Sphephelo (Belenenses, Portugal)
Ashley Du Preez (Stellenbosch)
Lyle Foster (Vitoria Guimaraes II, Portugal)
Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates)
Fagrie Lakay (Cape Town City)
Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC)
Luther Singh (Pacos de Ferreira, Portugal)
Siyabonga Ligendza (Cardiff City U18, England)
Senior players older than 23
Percy Tau (Brighton & Hove Albion, England)
Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)
Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Mosa Lebusa (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Ricardo Goss (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)