Botswana has had excellent goalkeepers before and also seems to be producing more excellent goalkeepers. There have been the likes of Sam Sono, China Mading, Thabo Motang, amongst many. Whatever headache the national team coach might have, it should not be from the goalkeeping department. At the ripe age of 37, Modiri Marumo is still considered the country’s top goalkeeper. He has led the country with selflessness and was even part of the historical team that made it to 2012 Africa Cup of nations that was co-hosted by both Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Before playing in South Africa, Marumo has had spells in Egypt where he was playing for Harass Elhodoud. Marumo’s strongest challengers seem to be Kabelo Dambe who plays for Platinum Stars in South Africa and Noah Maposa who is in the books of Township Rollers.
Dambe started making a name for himself in the national youth teams before being snatched by Township Rollers. He made a name for himself at Rollers and even at one stage was voted player of the season. It did not take long for him to be called to the senior national team. It was not surprising when he was signed by South African side, Platinum Stars where he has had mixed fortunes for the past four years. There are already others who are also pushing hard and putting the experienced ones on their toes. They include the likes of Mwampule Masule of Township Rollers and Goitseone Phoko of Gaborone United (GU). Masule has indeed grown for the past three years and last year he was even chosen as player of the season. He has also been called to the national team on several occasions.
Phoko is the one who has surprised many people. He came through the developmental structures of GU and has already sent a stern warning to those goalkeepers who have been dominating national team colours. In the last friendly match against Mozambique he was put to the deeper end and in turn did not disappoint. The technical officer at the Botswana Football Association, Philmon Makgwengwe is happy with the increase in numbers of the excellent goalkeepers in Botswana. He said this will enhance competition something he says is good for football.
“It is good to have many good goalkeepers but we still need more. To have a very tough competition we need to cast our net wide and who knows we might even have those who are even better,” he said.
Makgwengwe however decries the fact that there has never been a deliberate and comprehensive approach to have many goalkeeper trainers something he said they would like to put to an end. He said most talent in this country from goalkeepers was accidentally discovered. “We need to have as many goalkeeping coaches so that they discover and nurture as much talent as possible. Most of those coaches have inborn talent and if we can have many trainers we can have as many as possible,” he said.