David Morala Notoane, assistant coach of South Africa talking to players during the 2016 Cosafa U20 Youth Championship Semi Final match between South Africa and Angola at Moruleng Stadium, Rusternburg South Africa on 14 December 2016. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA / BACKPAGEPIX
David Morala Notoane, assistant coach of South Africa talking to players during the 2016 Cosafa U20 Youth Championship Semi Final match between South Africa and Angola at Moruleng Stadium, Rusternburg South Africa on 14 December 2016. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA / BACKPAGEPIX

The SA Football Association (Safa) has appointed former Santos striker David Notoane as coach of the national Under-23 team.

Safa said the 50-year-old Notoane‚ who assisted Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba as SA Under-23 coach in 2011‚ has been appointed to the Olympic team on Wednesday.

Notoane has been coach of Mamelodi Sundowns’ Multichoice Diski Challenge reserve team for three years.

A statement on Safa’s website read: “Notoane who is currently head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns’ MDC side‚ is not new to national team assignments. He led Amajita [the SA Under-20s] to the historic Commonwealth Cup title in Russia in 2015 before helping [current Under-20 coach] Thabo Senong as his assistant during the Caf Under-20 Eight Nations tournament in Senegal the same year. He reached the final of the Durban annual Under-19 International tournament in 2016 before losing to eventual winners Arsenal.”

Notoane coached Santos in the National First Division in 2013-14‚ steering them to fifth place.

“I am very excited about this project and I am looking forward to do justice to the faith shown in me by doing my utmost best to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics‚” Notoane told Safa.net.

“I [would] like to thank the association‚ especially president Danny Jordaan and head of the technical committee‚ Mr [Jack] Maluleke for the faith shown in me‚ and not forgetting my club Mamelodi Sundowns who allowed me to take up this latest challenge.”

The SA Olympic team begin their  preparations for Tokyo 2020 with an Africa Under-23 Nations Cup first-round qualifier against Angola‚ away on Friday‚ March 22‚ with the return leg on Tuesday‚ March 26.

The winner will play Zimbabwe‚ eSwatini (Swaziland) or Mozambique for qualification to the eight-nation Under-23 Afcon in Egypt in November‚ where top three finishers reach the 2020 Olympics.

The SA Under-23s  are aiming for a second successive Olympic qualification‚ having competed at Rio 2016.

The last full-time SA Under-23 coach was current Highlands Park boss Owen Da Gama‚ whose contract was not renewed when Stuart Baxter became Bafana Bafana coach in May 2017.