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SA’s Olympic footballers in final local warm-up match
- Updated: July 18, 2016
South Africa’s Rio Olympics Under-23 football side play their final practice match before the Games on Monday when they take on Bidvest Wits.
Owen da Gama’s charges will play Wits at Milpark Stadium (9.30am) and the national team will then go on a two-day break before returning to camp on Thursday to start the final phase of preparations.
Meanwhile Kaizer Chiefs duo of Itumeleng Khune and Erick Mathoho have reported for camp and joined their teammates at training on Sunday at the Benoni Sports Grounds.
Khune and Mathoho are the two over-aged players selected to be part of the Olympic team. ‘First of all it is still an honour to selected to this team, I would like to thank the technical team for giving me the opportunity to be one of the participants at the world’s biggest spectacle,’ said Khune. ‘I am at a loss for words but would just like to say that I will do my best whenever I am called upon to represent my country. I just hope my experience and that of Mathoho will take this team to greater heights, whether we play or not.
‘As for the training session, it was a bit tough for me as we have just returned from recess and were still busy with pre-season training at our club. But looking at the rest of the teammates I can see their fitness levels are high and we will have to work harder to get to their level.’
Khune has already played in a World Cup tournament, and this will be his second major event.
Mathoho would also like to see this team go far. ‘I concur with Itu, it really is an honour to be part of this team. I never would have imagined playing in the Olympics but thanks to the technical team I have been considered. I would like to see this team achieve its objectives in the Olympic Games and I will do my best to see that happens, whether I am on the field or not,’ said Mathoho.
‘We had a great training session with the team and the players are looking unbelievably good which inspires confidence to all.’