Friday, June 21, 2024

Local players lack mental strength – Makhwengwe

Botswana Football Association’s technical officer, Philemon Makhwengwe says local players lack mental strength to deal with the challenges of football when playing abroad.

He said there are so many challenges players have to face before becoming big names but it seems local players cannot withstand a lot of them.

“I think our players lack mental strength in many aspects of the game. If you look at several big name players around the world, especially those from Africa they went through a lot to end up where they are now and our players should learn from them,” he said.

“Even when the national team plays our players are easily distracted especially when they are outside the country while other countries are not.”

Makhwengwe also emphasized that some players from other countries do not go for money when they want to make names for themselves but want to create a platform first that will market themselves internationally.

For so many years local players struggled to make a grade outside the country for a variety of reasons.

Even in neighboring South Africa they could not make it and would only spend a short time before returning home.

Others would even go for trials and after passing them they would still come back home.
The once bigger names in local circles like Itumeleng ‘Tumie’ Duiker and Terrence Mophuting did not last in South Africa.

It was only for the past five years that several players made the grade in the South African Premier League and are even forces to reckon with.

Currently there are the likes of Modiri Marumo, Galabgwe Moyana (Polokwane City), Ofentse Nato (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Mogogi Gabonamong, Joel Mogorosi (Bloemfontein Celtic) Mogakolodi Ngele, Kabelo Dambe (Platinum Stars) and Diphetogo Selolwane (University of Pretoria. Before finally settling in South Africa, the duo of Selolwane and Gabonamong tried their luck in countries like England, Trinidad and Tobago and even Denmark but ended up coming home.

Before finally settling at Polokwane City, Marumo also had some time in Egypt. Even currently other local players still go to the South African Premier League and come back after a short stint.

Just recently, two local players, Phenyo Mongala and Dirang Moloi came back from the Democratic Republic of Congo despite running contracts they had with elite league team, Don Bosco.

One local player and top striker, Jerome Ramatlhakwane is still there in the DRC. Both Mongala and Moloi once played in South Africa before going to the DRC and their return home has brought questions about the ability of local players to withstand football challenges.

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