Township Rollers’ former boss, Somerset Gobuwang has come in from the cold as a dream keeper of young footballers’ dreams of making it to the big league.
When most couch critics are whining about how young aspiring footballers have been left to their devices, Gobuiwang decided to nurture to their dreams.
Gobuiwang, who told Sunday Standard that “youth development is my passion” is putting his money where his mouth is, and last Thursday took a local football youth side, Top Stars youth team to Gothenburg, Sweden to compete in the annual Gothia cup also known as World Youth tournament. Gobuwang is the first Motswana ever to manage and send a youth team to participate in the Gothia Cup.
“I want to see these kids developed through proper structures that will enable them to reach their full potential”, he said before jetting off to Sweden with his youth team on tow.
He says the project also aims to keep the kids away from the streets where they may pick destructive tendencies, “to keep their dreams away from the too-rough fingers of the world” as Langston Hughes would say.
Participating teams foot their own travel and accommodation expenses, Gobuiwang and his Top Stars team however were lucky to raise sponsorship to participate in the tournament.
Botswana’s Top Stars team embassy helped them find sponsors to cover accommodation, meals, local transport and entry card to all matches.
The tournament is described as important because it will assist young footballers from across the world to interact and learn from each other, share experiences and inspire one another. It is expected that at the end of the tournament it would have given players exposure to the world competitions and afforded them an opportunity to experience soccer at the international level while at the same time promoting Botswana abroad.
Botswana Football Association technical director, Benny Kgomela gave Top Stars permission to participate in the youth Cup. For teams to participate in the tournament they first have to get permission from FIFA member association.
“Top Starts is a development structure which engages youth to grow their talent and release them to other football or social clubs, to pursue their talent within the country and internationally” said Kgomela in granting the team permission to partake in the Gothia Cup.
The tournament runs from the 17th -23rd July. The Gothia cup has been in existence since 1975 and is open to boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 18 years.