Sunday, February 28, 2021

Make or break for Tshosane and his troops

There is no doubt that the Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership are not great admirers of the current national team head coach Stanley Tshosane. If the hierarchy had their way, they would have long fired Tshosane but they find themselves stuck with him until his contract comes to an end in two years.

To make their case clear, BFA president Tebogo Sebego has failed to have a few minutes over coffee with the tactician to hear their experiences when in camp or even the problems they encounter.

Ever since Sebego and his crew came on board in July last year, Tshosane and his troops have always complained about a number of things in preparations of big games. This has hampered the team’s progress in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

The Zebras find themselves lying at the bottom of Group A with a single point from three games. This means that the Zebras have an outside chance of qualifying for the next phase. This is the same Zebras’ squad which put smiles on the faces of Batswana when they made their maiden appearance at the 2012 African Nations Cup (Afcon).

With due respect to the Zebras’ opponents this time around, when the local lads qualified for the Afcon, they were in a difficult group which consisted of continental powerhouses Tunisia, Togo, Malawi and minnows Chad. But still with little resources, the Zebras managed to pull a trick and came out tops in the group.

At that time, most Batswana thought it was the start of the rise of the Zebras but it has since turned into a disaster.

While the Sebego leadership claims that they have given the Zebras the necessary support, it has since turned to be otherwise and the results are showing. One would argue that the BFA might be frustrating the tactician in order to force him out.

As the Zebras prepare for the two crucial qualifiers against Ethiopia (June 8) and Central African Republic (June 15) with both games set for Lobatse Stadium, the team’s preparations started on a low note.

Firstly, not all the players who have been called up for camp showed up.

Tshosane has been left frustrated in the process after the BFA organized an international friendly game away to Egypt on June 4 against his will. The Zebras leave today and will only be back in the country on Wednesday morning.

“I’ll only have all the players in camp on Sunday (today) and we’ll go to Egypt without a proper training session. Personally, I would have liked to forgo the friendly game and prepare here at home. This would have allowed us to try different combinations together in training. Ahead of the game against Ethiopia, we’ll only have three training sessions together which is not right,” said Tshosane before his troops departed for North Africa.

Though he did not want to dwell too much on the support he is getting from BFA, it was clear that Tshosane has had enough.

“There is no need to always complain; we’ll just have to go ahead with our preparations and hope for the best. I want to believe that the boys will do everything to get positive results in the two qualifiers,” he added.

Tshosane did not want to give away his plans for the two qualifiers but it is clear that he will go for broke. He said it is important for them to do well in order to redeem their lost pride. Tshosane pointed out that they will use the qualifiers to improve on their rankings which have been on decline due to the poor performance.

“Ethiopia are a dangerous side but this time around they will come here with a cautious approach. I’m aware that even a draw would be good for them but we’ll have to be alert. Central African Republic are more physical and their approach will depend on their result against South Africa (on June 8),” Tshosane said.

The following is the Zebras’ squad travelling to Egypt;

Richard Legwaila, Gift Moyo (both Nico United), Lemponye Tshireletso, Mompati Thuma, Ndiyapo Letsholathebe (all BDF XI), Galabgwe Moyana, Tshepo Motlhabankwe (both Centre Chiefs), Noah Maposa, Jackie Mothatego, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Tebogo Sembowa (all Gaborone United), Ntesang Simanyana, Oscar Ncenga, Edwin Olerile (all Township Rollers), Pako Lekgari (Black Africa, Namibia), Ofentse Nato (Bidvest Wits, South Africa), Mogakolodi Ngele, Kabelo Dambe (both Platinum Stars), Joel Mogorosi (Bloemfontein Celtic, South Africa), Dirang Moloi, Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Phenyo Mongala (all Sportif Don Bosco, DRC), Musa Ohilwe and Moshe Gaolaolwe (both BMC).

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