The South African Football Association (SAFA) has a huge task ahead of them to assemble a technical team to lead the Olympic team to the CAF U-23 African Nations Cup tournament in Cairo, Egypt next year.

It may look like the tournament is a considerable distance away, but the fact that qualifiers get underway during the weekend of November 12 and South Africa do not have a coach for that age category should be a concern.

Since the resignation of Owen da Gama who led the 2016 squad to the Olympic Games in Brazil to join Highlands Park, the Federation has not appointed anyone to fill up his shoes even though indications are that either Molefi Ntseki or Thabo Senong would be promoted.

Both are senior coach Stuart Baxter’s assistants. Although the qualifiers get underway within the next three weeks, South Africa, defending champions Nigeria and 13 other countries have received byes into the next round of the qualifiers.

The second round of qualifiers is scheduled for the weekend of March 18-22 and South Africa is scheduled to face the winner between Angola and Namibia while Zimbabwe tackles the winner between Mozambique and Swaziland.

Botswana face tackle Malawi and the winner faces Zambia in the second round while Burundi and Tanzania kicks off the first round and the winner face Congo Brazzaville. Whoever emerges out of this four will face the winner of the above group that includes South Africa.

the class of 2016 was led by Keagan Dolly but this time around, Katlego Otladisa, Keletso Makgalwa and Phakamani Mahlambi are some of the new crop of professionals likely to spearhead the Olympic dream.

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