The 19-year-old has been a constant in the Ajax team as well as for both Bafana Bafana and the national Under-23 side, starting 26 League games for the Urban Warriors last season while being a regular under Shakes Mashaba for the senior national team, the country’s Cosafa Cup-winning squad and now the Olympic team.
The young defender, who was given extra time to recuperate by his Cape club, acknowledges his body is feeling a little worse for wear, but also praises both Ajax and the national team’s technical teams for managing him well.
“Yes, fatigue kicks in sometimes, but all the coaches have been managing the training to make sure we recover as much as possible," Coetzee tells snl24.com/kickoff. “Yet when it’s time to work, everyone works together as well.
“I think it was a good thing [being rested by Ajax] because I haven’t had a break and they told me I can take off until after the Olympics just to get a bit of a break. Straight after the Olympics the League starts, so they are looking after me very well and I’m happy about that.”
Coetzee was however quick to allay any fears of suffering a burnout at the Games in Rio.
“I’m sure for the Olympics I’ll be fresh,” he says. “The technical team always make sure everyone is recovered and fully fit.”
South Africa face hosts Brazil in their opening encounter of the global spectacle on 4 August.