Botswana has over the years produced top-notch coaches locally who went to achieve a lot for the country. Most of such coaches achieved a lot at both club and national team level.
Some of such coaches include the likes of Stanley Tshosane, Sikalame Keatlholetswe, Sthandwa Mogwadi, Ken Mogae, Thaza Seth Moleofhi, Major David Bright and several others.
Tshosane remains the only coach to have led Botswana to their maiden appearance at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) that was co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. He also coached for a long time at BDXI where he also won several medals including the league championships.
Keatlholetswe’s memorable time is also at BDF XI where he won among others the Coca-Cola Cup. From there he served for a long time at the Botswana Football Association as the Technical Director for more than 15 years.
Mogwadi coached police for a long time and his highlight at the team was the league championships in 2006. Mogwadi has for some time also coached the national youth team, especially the Under 20.
Mogae coached Boteti Young Fighters for some time before it was dissolved to Orapa United. When Botswana made its maiden appearance to 2012 Afcon, Mogae was the assistant to Tshosane and made a formidable combination.
Moleofhi stayed for a long time at TASC while it was in the Premier League and also won several medals with the Francistown-based side.
Bright, on the other hand, coached for a long time at Mogoditshane Fighters and won many medals including the league championships and the Coca-Cola Cup. He also once coached the senior national team, Zebras.
Bright so far remains the only local coach to have made it to the South African Premier League where he had his stint at Cape Town Santos and several First Division teams.
After returning from South African Bright stayed for some time without being involved in football. Latter on he join First Division team Morupule Wanderers which he said he is just volunteering.
What can, however, can be taken note of the above mentioned coaches is that they seem to be less appreciated despite the incredible record and experience they have at hand.
If it was in other countries they would be the ones either leading so-called big teams in the country and even the national team or serving in different capacities for the benefit of the country. They now seem to be coaches in wilderness while their experience is going to waste.
Tshosane, on the other hand, also believes their expertise is not being utilised the way it should be in local football. He emphasised that it is all due to lack of football structures in the country that do not accommodate coaches.
“In Botswana we should have long had coaches committee to address issues concerning coaches around the country. Currently it is just every man for himself and it is not healthy at all for the country if we are to grow into a formidable football nation,” he said.
Tshosane also added that the issue of coaches committee is an old one that was long recommended more than 20 years ago even to the government.
“Just recently I had a meeting with one of the coaches and they were surprised when I showed them the minutes of 1991 when back then we had a meeting with the Botswana National Sports Council members. But nothing has never been done and it is really painful,” he said.
Tshosane also added that during the many years he did his coaching courses around the world he realised how many progressed footballing nations value coaching something he said should be emulated by Botswana.
“I did two of my coaching courses in Brazil and Holland, and during those courses we were attached to several big clubs there like Vasco Da Gama and Ajax Amsterdam. I observed that coaches are valued in those countries and they do not have time to just sit at home and do nothing because those clubs engage them wherever their knowledge is needed,” he said.
Tshosane called on the Premier League teams to do the same. He said several committee members of the Premier League do not have the technical knowhow of the game and hence they should engage local experienced as technical Directors and help them with technical matters.
He said it was disheartening to see how some coaches are treated by their teams mainly because of lack of understanding of the technical matters by committee members of such teams.