Kaizer Chiefs defender Reeve Frosler and midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo left their Amakhosi teammates in Casablanca Morocco at midday on Sunday, as they headed off to make their way to Tokyo.
To join up with the South Africa under-23 team, who are already in Japan for the Olympic Games, the duo will be flying via Istanbul Turkey and should be with coach David Notoane and the rest of the squad at 19h20 on Monday evening Tokyo time.
Despite Chiefs’ loss to Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final in Casablanca Ngcobo is still upbeat and looking forward to representing South Africa with pride at the Games.
“it’s a great opportunity to be going to the Olympics. Playing in the Champions League final was another great experience, which I am grateful and happy for. Now, I am looking for some game time in Tokyo and to improve my own game,” said Ngcobo just before he headed for the airport.
Frosler also is hoping the Olympics will be another great opportunity for him to showcase his talents.
“It’s a good feeling and another achievement in my career. I get to showcase my talents at a high stage at under 23 level and I am very excited about that. We take the experience of the Champions League with us to the Olympics. Hopefully I can get a few games under the belt and showcase my talents to the world,” said Frosler.
Ngcobo and Frosler join other Chiefs players, the likes of Jabu Pule (Mahlangu), Siyabonga Nomvete, Daniel Matsau and Brian Baloyi, who were part of the South Africa squad at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Nomvete scored two goals at the Sydney Games, including one in a 3-1 group stage win over a star-studded Brazil that included Ronaldinho.
Mulomowandau Mathoho and Itumeleng Khune were part of the South African squad at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
This will be the South Africa under 23 men’s team’s third participation at an Olympic Games, along with 2000 and 2016.
They will open up their campaign in Group A against hosts Japan on the 22nd of July in Tokyo. The sides met at the 2000 Olympic Games, where Japan triumphed 2-1.
South Africa under 23 will then face France in Saitama on the 25th July, before rounding off their campaign on the 28th July against Mexico.
Kaizer Chiefs would like to wish the South African under 23 team and all athletes representing the country in Tokyo the best of luck and hope to see them on the podium collecting medals for the country.