Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) will try to give its ‘out of contract’ members a lifeline to find themselves new clubs ahead of the new season.
In what is a first of its kind initiative for Botswana football, FUB together with FIPRO Africa Division will be sending unemployed professional players to South Africa to compete in a tournament for professional players who are out of contract.
According to FUB secretary general Kgosana Masaseng, “the games are expected to give out of contracts players an opportunity to continue showcasing their skills and potential for club coaches to note and possibly consider signing them.”
While at the tournament, the local players will meet their counterparts from Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and the host South Africa.
Masaseng revealed that they will be sending sixteen (16) players to South Africa for trials.
He said the 16 out of contract were selected by technical team headed by Matshidiso Sexton Kowa assisted by Rapelang Tsatsilebe and Vincent Kgaswane.
According to Masaseng, when the season came to an end, FUB sent out a call to all out of contract players to come for trials.
The invitation was only extended to professional players who are playing in the elite league and are members of FUB. He explained that some fortunate ones managed to secure contracts from some teams and thus dropped off from the camp.
Currently, the players are training at Botswana Football Association artificial turf ground to get used to playing on a proper ground.
“FUB has hired the ground for three days and we are hopeful that by the time the players leave they will be ready for the task ahead.”
The camp is the first of kind in Africa where out of contract will converge in one place and do trials.
“It has been happening in Europe. In Africa we have divided the camp into two; the southern and the northern regions,” he said.
The FUB secretary general said they have partnered with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) to assist the players on how they are expected to conduct themselves.
“The players will be representing the country as ambassadors and we expect them to sell the country hence the partnership,” said Masaseng.
The ambitious Masaseng said they would like to host the same trial tournament in the future. Some members of FUB executive committee members will be sent to South Africa to benchmark on the inaugural trials to gauge the possibilities of Botswana hosting the similar event. The three day event will start on Thursday and is expected to end on Saturday.
The tournament will be held Johannesburg, South Africa from the 14th to the 16th of this month (July).