Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dark cloud hangs over U-23 volleyball squad ahead of championships

Uncertainty veils the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) over the men’s Under-23 squad expected to compete at the African Nations Championships slated for Setif, Algeria from February 19 to 25. 

The local side has struggled to train as a team due to lack of funds.

It is said that the technical team’s wish was to have the team train as a unit early this month but the BVF declined citing negotiations that were still ongoing with the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to fund the team’s camps. 

However, close sources have revealed to Sunday Standard that since last year the state-funded enterprise struggled to finance sporting codes accordingly.

‘’The BNSC is still running under a deficit and cannot met the legal obligation to balance their books and is banking on the government to keep afloat. It is a challenge now for the BNSC to assist with ease as it is visible that the volleyball junior team struggles to camp ahead of the continental showpiece,” a source said.

BVF Vice President Technical George Keotsene confirmed to Sunday Standard that they were challenged financially hence lack of training camps for the junior team. 

“We have confirmed to honour the African Championships and we are still in talks with the BNSC to assist in funding the team for its preparations ahead of the games. At the moment we are banking on players training at their respective clubs and believe they are doing their best to be on their best,” said Keotsene.

He cited that it could have been best to prepare the team well in time for them to be competitive at the championship. 

“We alerted the BNSC of our intention of competing and was given the green light despite challenges now of preparing the team. We are hoping for the best as the matter is still being negotiated internally,” concluded Keotsene.

For his part, U-23 coach Daniel Ngozi said they were now faced with a mammoth task to establish a formidable side to bring better results due to preparations predicaments. 

“We are depending on the usual game time that players get playing in the national league. It is challenging to have a team that will fight for a podium place if we are still to have a solid team in camp,” said Ngozi.

He said they had thought that the team could be in full camp two weeks prior to the championships. 

“Our wish is to be on camp by now as days ahead of the tournament are ageing. I have no choice as the coach but our wish is to match our opponents,” Ngozi said.

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