By FOCUS REPORTER The South African National under 23 Team started camp yesterday in preparation to the upcoming, all important 2012 London Olympics qualifying match against Libya. The young South Africans are scheduled to kick off their London Olympics campaign against their Libyan counterparts on March 27 at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, Johannesburg.
South Africa’s National under 23 Head Coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba named a 25-man squad that will represent the country in this eagerly awaited match. Mashaba says victory against Libya and the ultimate qualification for the 2012 London Olympics is crucial for SAFA, considering the fact that the Association is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. “We are playing at home as a result it is important to kick off this campaign on a winning note. We intend to keep the team focused throughout the camp to avoid any sense of complacency creeping in. Obviously we have to bear in mind that this fixture will be played on a home and away basis, so it absolutely imperative that we should do the business at home in order to lessen the pressure on during the away fixture. The road to the London Olympics is a tough assignment but we will take each match as it comes; our main objective is to start the campaign on a positive note.” The team’s first assignment in the preparations is a trip to neighbouring country Botswana today, where they will engage the hosts in a friendly match. The practice match will take place on Monday 2011 and the team is expected back in the country on Tuesday. Selected Squad:
Goalkeepers: Boalefa Pule (Platinum Stars), Brilliant Khuzwayo (Amazulu) Daren Keet (Bidvest Wits University)
Defenders: Enrico Adolph (Wits), Siyanda Xulu, Sibusiso Khumalo (both Mamelodi Sundowns),
Mthetheleli Sibusiso Mxoyana (Orlando Pirates), Wandisile Letlabika, Doctor
Mampuru (both from Puk Tawana), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Moroka Swallows),
Eric Mathoho (Bloemfontein Celtic), Gladwin Shitolo (Jomo Cosmos),
Midfielders: Sibusiso Vilakazi (Wits), Mandla Masango (Kaizer Chiefs),
Kamohelo Mokotjo (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Thandani Ntshumayelo (Supersport United),
Christopher Flandorp (Wits), Themba Zwane (Sundowns), Bongani Nyathi (Free state Stars)
Thamsanqa Sangweni (Amazulu),
Strikers: Bongani Ndulula (Pirates), Phumelele Bhengu (Bay United), George Maluleke (Ajax Cape Town), Augustine Leonards (Swallows) and Vivian Motloung (Pimville Young Stars).