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Knowing your Under-23 stars – Part II

Posted: 26 November 2015 Time: 10:23

In the second part of the series, we profile five more Under-23 stars that will be doing duty for South Africa in Senegal later this week.


Riyaad Norodien

A regular for the Under-23 national team, Norodien’s burst of pace down the wing will prove a vital cog in Owen Da Gama’s attack. The 20-year-old announced himself on the scene with a Man of the Match performance in his first home Ajax fixture towards the end of last season, and he hasn’t looked back since, starting every game in their successful MTN8 campaign this year. “Norodien is a very exciting winger, and very mature in the way he plays,” Ajax coach Roger De Sa says.

Kwanda Mngonyama

After failing to fit into Pitso Mosimane’s plans at Sundowns, Mngonyama is enjoying his second loan spell at Maritzburg United, having featured in 25 League matches for the Team of Choice last season. A sprained ankle while on international duty has restricted him to just a few League starts this season, but having captained the Under-23s in the 8 Nations qualifiers, he is a shoe-in at centre-back. The tough-tackling 22-year-old will want to keep his aggression in check however – with six yellow cards and a red last season, he’ll need to tone it down if the Olympic hopefuls want to go all the way in this tournament.

Tebogo Moerane

Bidvest Wits left-back Moerane is yet to make a PSL appearance this season as he finds himself behind the experienced Onismor Bhasera in the pecking order. But the 20-year-old, used mostly as a substitute in recent Under-23 encounters, was included in South Africa’s recent CHAN squad that did battle against Angola, and will use that experience in Senegal. 

Siphelele Ntshangase

Ntshangase definitely doesn’t need much of an introduction, having already won three caps at Bafana Bafana level. His cause has also been helped by the fact that though he is yet to play in the PSL, he is one of the more recognisable faces in the squad, partly for what he has done during his time at Black Leopards. Ntshangase is expected to play a key role in the creativity and goal-scoring department in Senegal, and can operate in any attacking midfield position or as a shadow striker.

Gift Motupa

The 21-year-old kicked off his career at amateur side Manchester United from Thokwangeng Village in Limpopo when he was 13 and, by the time he was 19, was made captain of National First Division side Baroka FC and led by example before his switch to Orlando Pirates a few months ago. Motupa’s former coach Sello Chokoe believes his leadership qualities could be vital in the Under-23 set up. “He is a direct player; he gets the ball, moves into space and that’s why he finds himself in scoring positions all the time,” Chokoe tells Motupa has already featured on a couple of occasions for the national senior side, Bafana Bafana.

Article by: KICK OFF
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