Matthew Booth confident Olympic-bound U-23 team will go one better than Class of 2000


South Africa have failed to qualify for the previous three editions of the Games and Booth was part of the team that last represented the nation - back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The national team did not quite live up to their billing 16 years ago as they failed to make it into the knockout rounds, a feat Booth believes the current crop of players can accomplish.

Host-nation Brazil as well as Iraq and Denmark await Amaglug-glug in the group stages of the tournament with South Africa's opening game against the Seleção in Brasília on August 4.

"My prediction is that they will get some sort of result against Brazil and with the remaining two games they'll do sufficiently well to get through to the knockout stages and go one better than what we did in 2000," Booth tells

The former Mamelodi Sundowns player delivered some sage advice to the players involved, urging them to approach all of their games, and not just their opener, with the same kind of determination.

The Class of 2000 were in a similar situation in Sydney as they too had Brazil in their group and whilst they managed a 3-1 victory in that tie they were beaten by Slovakia and Japan.

"I feel that the boys should not take their eye off the ball with regards to Iraq and Denmark. Much has been said about Brazil and I feel as South Africans we always raise our game against the so-called big teams," said Booth.

"We don't really need to worry about Brazil but we must must remained remain focused on the remaining two games after the opening game."


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