SABC News - Five months to Rio Olympic Games:Monday 15 February 2016

Five months to Rio Olympic Games

Monday 15 February 2016 19:31

Mduduzi Ndlovu

It is just five months before the start of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In the football front, South Africa will be represented by the national Under23 and Banyana Banyana teams.

Both teams have mapped out plans that they would like to follow in preparation for the sports spectacle.

Most players of the national Under23 team are actively involved in the Absa Premiership and the National First Division (NFD).

Under23 coach Owen Da Gama says both the Under23 and Banyana need real, high level match practice in preparation for the Olympics.

“It’s important for both Banyana and the Under23 teams to really play quality international friendlies or to participate in quality international tournaments, like we would like to participate in the Toulon tournament towards end of May. The league would be finished by then. There are between five and six teams that have qualified for the Olympics that would be playing there. So it's also important that Banyana participate in quality competition that will assist them,” says Da Gama.

Da Gama believes Banyana coach Vera Pauw's plan is a winner.

However, he laments the lack of finances in support of some programmes.

“It’s very difficult for Banyana because the men's Under23 boys are playing in professional leagues whereas with them they are not playing in any professional leagues, and that makes it difficult for them. I’ve seen Banyana Banyana head coach, Vera Pauw's programme, it's unbelievable. It’s world class. It’s important that we try and allow her to follow that programme as best as possible but finances are always a bit of an issue,” explains Da Gama.

Da Gama says he could be pleased if his team could play an international friendly as early as next month.

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