Sunday, November 29, 2020

Local coaches take the fort

It has been proven around the world time and again that most teams do well under local coaches. This is because they understand the players better than those coming from outside the country.

Even most senior national teams that dominate world championships are coached by their natives. Here in Botswana, the national team the Zebras made their maiden appearance at 2012 Africa Cup of Nations under a local coach, Stanley Tshosane.

Gone are the days when local teams seemed allergic to local coaches. It was very rare for a local team to be coached by a local coach in the past because they were not considered good enough to bring desired results.

Even in the lower divisions most teams were still in the hands of foreign coaches, some good but others mediocre compared to local coaches.

Local coaches were even despised regardless of the fact that they were more qualified than some of their foreign counterparts.

However that has changed a great deal especially in the current season as more local coaches are in charge of the Premier League teams.

Of the 16 registered Premier League teams, only four are in the hands of the foreign legion while the rest are under the tutelage of locals. The four teams are Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Dragoijo Stanojlovic), Orapa United (Dominic Changwe), Nico United (Elijah Chikwanda) and Township Rollers (Madinda Ndlovu).

Although the league has just started, most of the local coaches have had mixed results from the three games they have played.

Others were roped in when the league was about to start while others were with their teams just from pre-season training.

The acting Technical Director of the Botswana Football Association (BFA), Philmon Makgwengwe, sees the development as a positive step for Botswana football.

He said by having more local coaches, football in the country can reach greater heights in years to come. “Definitely if you have more home grown coaches in the elite setup it means great improvement. We have never seen it happening because foreign coaches were always dominating. Local coaches have now seen that committing to coaching can also be a lucrative career,” he said.

Makgwengwe also added that BFA has for years fought hard to have more local coaches in the Premier League. He said BFA has for the past years also been mobilising coaching courses for local coaches who came in good numbers.

“We have been organizing courses for local coaches and I am happy most of them have been heeding our call. I would say it is not enough but we have many qualified coaches unlike in the past,” he said.
Makgwengwe also did not mince his words regarding coaching qualifications for foreigners. He said from next year no foreign coach would be allowed to coach without A license.

The measure is aimed at bringing foreign coaches whom Batswana can learn from rather than those who are equal or below Batswana. He said the move would even motivate local coaches to work even harder and be among the best in Africa.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.