Sunday, May 16, 2021

Can local coaches competitively sustain Botswana Football?

The Botswana Football Association’s technical officer, Philemon Makgwengwe, once decried that local teams are not giving home grown coaches a chance and all the necessary support compared to the foreign ones.

Makgwengwe was further saddened by the fact that there are even no policies to govern foreign coaches who descend into the country as is the case in many countries around the world. However, once given all the necessary support, local coaches have proved that they are equal to the job, just like their foreign counterparts.

Army teams also proved that support leads to results and, as such, they produced many good coaches.
The current Botswana Football Association’s Technical director was once the darling of BDF XI and won many trophies, including the league and the Coca Cola cup.

With the full support of the army, Major David Bright achieved a lot when he was at Mogoditshane Fighters. Bright went on and became the first local coach to join the professional ranks in South Africa. So far, he is the most decorated coach in the country and helped mould many players.

Bright also prevailed where many failed by helping Botswana’s national Under 23 to qualify for the group stages of the Olympic Games. For the first time, Botswana defeated countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Guinea, Cameroon, China, South Korea and Japan. Even when he arrived in South Africa, he took Santos from a relatively uncomfortable third position from the bottom to the third from the top at the end of the past season.

Stan Tshosane, who is with the national team, the Zebras and BDF XI, had second to none achievements at BDF XI. Even at the national team, he is proving that he can make it and so far he has made a name for himself and history by defeating Mozambique for the first time in this country’s history. A week after beating Mozambique, he helped the Zebras to a one all draw with Ivory Coast.

What makes the Mozambique victory more special for Tshosane is that it was an away victory and Botswana has a poor away record. Tshosane and Bright can be seen as from the golden generation of local football because they prevailed where less was expected from them and it looks they will achieve more once all the mechanisms are in place for them.

Stahndwa Mogwadi, who is now at school in South Africa, had fruitful seasons at Police XI. Teenage Mpote and Seth Tazza Moleofhi are other coaches who also cut their teeth through former army team, Tasc. With the exception of the Coca Cola cup they achieved in 2002 Tasc have never had any other major achievements, but it was deadly under Mpote and Moleofhi.

Other up and coming local coaches, who are slowly proving that they can be excellent once given a chance, are Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare, Oris Radipotsane, Kenneth Mogae, Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgengwenyane, Atshele Molapi, Mooketsi ‘China’ Mading and Timmy Setswe.
Nare is currently at Gunners and saved them from relegation by attaining a respectable sixth position. Before joining Gunners he was once at Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs where he also did not disappoint.

It now looks as if it’s only a matter of time before Nare can win major silverware. Other people have even gone to the extent of saying that Nare should be given an international challenge, especially as an assistant.
Radipotsane is currently at Santos after taking over towards the end of the season. He had stints at several teams and prevailed.

Currently, he together with Mpote, are on the verge of making history for the country. They want to help the current under 20s to their first ever African championships.

So far they helped the team defeat Namibia in the first round and are looking forward to finishing off Gabon next month. After that, they will need to beat another country before making it to Rwanda late this year.

Mogae is, at the moment, the assistant coach of Tshosane at the national team. Before that, he was assisting Bright at the national Under 23.

Mogae also made it to the Premier League for the first time this past season and managed to help his team, Boteti Young Fighters, survive relegation. Bearing in mind that the team traveled long distances almost every week from Orapa to Gaborone and Francistown with little resources, he deserves a pat on the back.

After spotting and polishing many players, vultures are already hovering over his team for the services of some of his players.

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