Dlala on U23 exclusion…

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Baroka’s new signing Athenkosi Dlala has opened up on his omission from the SA U23 squad that will be participating at the Tokyo Olympics.

Dlala was a notable exclusion from coach David Notoane’s 19-man squad that has been drawn in Group A alongside hosts, Japan, Mexico and France.

The 23-year-old played all the games since Notoane took over as head coach.

Dlala was also a key player at the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Egypt but surprisingly didn’t make the cut for the final squad.

“It wasn’t that painful (to be left out) because it’s part of football. Others will go and others will stay,” Dlala told FARPost.

“I had my experience at the Afcon. We helped the team qualify for the Olympics but when it comes to decision making at the last minute, anything can happen.

“The coach made me understand what is happening and I understand everything. All I can say is all the best to the guys and I trust them that they will make us proud,” added the former AmaTuks defensive midfielder.

“Of course, I miss being part of the team that’s one thing I won’t lie about, but then life goes on.”

On his move to Baroka where he is expected to fill in the void left by fellow U23 international Goodman Mosele who has signed with Orlando Pirates, Dlala insists Bakgaga were the best option for him to advance his career.

“I had other options but I chose this one because I have goals that I want to achieve so I believe this is the right platform. I had a talk with my agent about my ambitions and we both agreed that this was the best move,” he concluded.

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By Ofhani Munyai