SA national U23 striker Zakhele Lepasa says that they have to be remembered following their participation in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
He believes that the current generation has what it takes to excel against the best of the best in next year’s Olympic Games.
Lepasa is currently with Amaglug-glug in Saudi Arabia for their upcoming two international friendly matches.
South Africa will lock horns with Saudi Arabia U23s on the 14th and 17th of November before they fly back to South Africa on the 18th.
The 23-year-old said that this is one opportunity he has been waiting for to come his way for a long time and hopes to make a long lasting impression on Notoane before the final Olympic squad is decided.
The team is now on day two of their quarantine following their arrival on Wednesday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“One can also say that he is truly grateful for the fact that the Olympics Games were postponed for next year. This squad has granted players such as myself with the opportunity to raise our hands and say that we want to be part of the final Olympic squad that is to represent South Africa in this major world sporting event,” Lepasa said.
The Orlando Pirates striker went on to say that it is not about just going to the Olympics for the sake of just being there, it is about performing and giving the best for the country at all times.
“When you do best for your country, against the best of the best in the world, the world notices you. The right people take full notice of you too. That is how you open bigger doors for yourself,” he added.
The former TS Galaxy marksman also seconded the words of his mentor David Notoane, stating that it was about time South Africa broke the hoodoo of not progressing any further than the group stages at the Olympic games.
After having watched how South Africa performed in last year’s U23 AFCON in Egypt where they finished third, he believes that the country has the right amount of talent to do well in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“This is not for the first time that a South African football national team will be competing in the Olympic Games. Some people in the country might have forgotten the names of the previous players that have been to the Olympics. This generation of players wants to be remembered for our participation there. And the only way we can achieve that is to support coach David Notoane’s vision of going there to compete for a medal. Doing that, I believe, will motivate the next generation to shine and try to do better than we did,” Lepasa concluded.
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By Mauwane Raophala