Saturday, July 24, 2021

BFA settles for losing Serbian to coach Zebras

BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA

The Botswana Football Association has hired a former Township Rollers Serbian coach, Nikola Kavazovic, as the senior national team head coach.

The Serbia is currently the head coach of the South African ABSA premiership troubled team, Free State Stars, which is languishing in the relegation zone. The coach last assignment in the South African ABSA league was yesterday when his Free State Stars side faced league defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Kavazovic shocked Rollers family last year October when he unexpectedly bid players and technical team farewell leaving the entire team in disbelief.

According to sources close to this publication, the former Rollers gaffer will be unveiled to the nation at the end of this month.

Kavazovic is expected to be at the helm when The Zebras compete at the regional Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) tournament to be hosted by Durban, South Africa. The competition is expected to start from the 25th May to 8th June.

While in Botswana at the helm of Rollers, Kavazovic who was commonly called Nikola won the Mascom Top 8 and BTC league champions.    

Nikola left Botswana after he had a good stay at Rollers and received offers across the world. He made history by becoming the first coach to qualify the local team into the group stages of the continental CAF champions’ league.

Coach Nikola prior to his departure had a sour relationship with assistant coach, Mogomotsi Teenage Mpote and later with team financier, Jagdish Shah fell apart.   Nikola was hired by Rollers, Popa Popa in June 2017.

Nikola will be taking from interim coach, Mpote whom he once worked together at Rollers and it will be seen whether he will retain Mpote to assist him in the technical bench of the Zebras.

The incoming Zebras coach targets could not be established by this publication but they are expected to be high or the same as that of the previous coach, David Bright, whose deliverables were to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged in June by Egypt. Bright was also expected to improve Botswana’s (FIFA) ranking by 15 places up.

The BFA mouthpiece, Tumo Mpatane, said the process of recruitment is ongoing and shortlisted people are expected to be engaged. He said they expect to hire the coach by the end of the month.

Mpatane could also not reveal the names of those who have applied but said well over twenty coaches across the world have applied for the job.

Among those who have soon interest include former Zebras coach, Peter Butler whose relationship with the BFA ended because of his motor mouth.

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