National team head coach Peter Butler is planning to start preparations for the coming qualifiers of the 2018 African Nations Championship commonly known as CHAN early so that players can get to gel and understand his strategy.
Botswana is drawn against neighboring South Africa in the preliminary qualifiers of CHAN.
Talking to Sunday Standard Sport, Butler said he had a plan which he hoped if supported would be able to campaign well in the coming tournament. The Briton is looking for two international friendly matches in the month of March.
“We have a plan and we are looking for at least two games against Namibia and Zambia during the FIFA international window in March. Our intention is to face Namibia in Maun before taking on Zambia in Francistown,” he revealed.
Butler described CHAN as an important like other tournaments. “We play SA which is a strong team whom we respect but we can beat if we prepare correctly and professionally we shall give a good account of ourselves as we always have done under my stewardship. I have not put all our eggs in one basket! There is a long term project ahead for the BFA,” he observed. The first leg against Bafana Bafana is billed for the weekend of 14.15 and July 16, in Botswana.
He further explained that he would be bringing player for three-day camp in the months of April and May.
“I shall be bringing players in for three-day camps (we call these familiarisation camps) we need to get the players in as soon as possible and get this young group working together again as we have suffered due to no International activity and ignoring FIFA windows. I shall be monitoring the players’ fitness and form and players shall be selected on merit,” he explained.
Butler further revealed he would be calling players into camp for a whole month in June /July and he is hoping to have an international trip where the Zebras will play friendly fixtures in a country yet to be named.
“I have a plan A plus plan B and I am very optimistic for the future for this team,” Butler said.
Butler, who has come under intense media scrutiny of late, then expressed his misgivings about the media.
“I have to state that the media have to stop sensationalising tournaments and games as win or bust. We are a long long way behind other countries in terms of preparation and development and I feel you have to be pragmatic with what you wish for, I want to win every game whether it be a training game or AFCON but we have been punching above our weight for a long time now with little or no support from the previous regime; now under the new regime we all hope for better times” quipped Butler.
Regarding his contract with the BFA which expires at the end of March, the Briton had this to say: “I and the president have been in communication and I have to say he has been very good and understanding and he wants to bring the uncertainty to a swift conclusion. I have loved the challenge here I have a great working relationship with the president and my players and have a very good relationship with the people of Botswana.”
The Zebras coach also denied the allegations that he recently applied for the Orlando Pirates coaching post which was recently filled by the Swedish Kjell Jonevret.