1.Only five of the 16 Premier League teams coached by locals
2. Locals left in the shadows and decry lack of coaching offers
3. Institutional teams now resorting to foreign coaches
4. No set standards to give locals a chance
Whether local football is heading backwards or ahead is a question many soccer loving people are asking themselves in Botswana, especially considering the state of the Premier League teams.
Many teams are resorting to employing foreign coaches and the locals are finding it hard to be at the helm.
Of the 16 Premier League teams, only five are coached by locals while eleven are under the tutelage foreign coaches. The five local coaches are Daniel ‘Chicco Dance’ Nare (Extension Gunners), Tazza ‘Seth’ Moleofhi (Great North Tigers) Moeteledi Chaenda (Naughty Boys), Kenneth Mogae (Boteti Young Fighters) and Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgengwenyane of Mogoditshane Fighters.
This then means local coaches only make up thirty percent of the total of Premier League team coaches. What is surprising is the fact that even teams that used to be under local coaches are now in the hands of foreign coaches.
For instance, Police XI used to be in the hands of Sthandwa Mogwadi but now they are coached by Barry Daka.
BDF XI was for a long time coached by locals. It was once in the hands of Losika Keatlholetswe and then Stanley Tshosane. Now BDF is under Zambian tactician, Stanley Mwaanga.
On the other hand, top teams, like Township Rollers, Gaborone United, Extension Gunners and Mochudi Center Chiefs, have been in an uncompromising mood for a long time because they have always been coached by locals.
Local coaches have proved that once given a chance they can go all the way. For instance, the late Banks Panene once won a double with Rollers while Tshosane and Major David Bright were once unstoppable at both BDF XI and Mogoditshane Fighters.
This also raises a question whether local coaches are not good enough compared to their foreign counterparts. What can be taken note of is the fact that all the foreign coaches in the elite league are only from two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe, thus once again bringing the issue of whether it is healthy for the development of football since there is no variety.
Botswana Football Association’s Technical Director, Losika Keatholetswe, said it is a serious concern for the league to be dominated by foreign nationals. He added that foreign coaches are taking advantage of the fact that there are no quotas or minimum qualifications for a foreign coach to coach in Botswana and teams hire who ever they want to.
”Definitely it is a concern. Currently, we do not know the qualifications most of such coaches hold. On the other hand, if some of them were more qualified than our locals it would be beneficial because our locals would learn something from them. But if they are of average or lower qualifications, it is then a major concern,” he said.
Keatholetswe added that the BFA is working on the modalities of setting a licensing system for foreign coaches. He said in the not so distant future, not all foreign coaches, as is the case currently, would find their way to coach local teams.
“In a season or two, such modalities would be in effect. We will be doing it mainly taking into consideration the Confederation of African Football qualifications and even FIFA ones.”
Keatholetswe also added that where the coaches originate is not a problem, but what matters the most is the quality they possess.
On the other hand, one local coach, Kgengwenyane, decried the lack of support from the local teams. He said it has since been proved that once given a chance, local coaches can easily excel.
“Right now, Bright is in South Africa coaching a Premier League side and is doing a good job. Before Bright went there he was with the Under 23 where he also raised the country’s flag by becoming the first coach to qualify the team for the Olympics group stages. And before that, Bright had a successful stint at Fighters for more than ten years. Also look at Tshosane he coached BDF XI for more than seven years and was also successful. This tells you once given a chance and support local coaches can excel,” said Kgenwenyane.
He further noted that the coaching courses offered in Botswana should be increased to enhance the knowledge of the local coaches.
One area that is also of concern to Kgengwenyane is that there is no track record of local coaches, especially those in the lower divisions. He said there are many good ones who should always be encouraged to coach youth teams and attend courses.