Friday, September 22, 2023

Maybe there’s some light at the end of tunnel

Former national team (Zebras) players are to be lured to the national team technical department in the near future as the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is said to embark on a move to open up space for past stars.

The expected appointments of the former players are likely to be completed before the end of the year.

It has emerged that BFA Technical and Development Committee Chairman Masego Ntshingane has influenced the decision to bring on board more ex-players closer to the game with the belief that they could offer their experience to upcoming youngsters across junior national teams.

Sources say that the exercise to recall former players has been ongoing since the appointment of the new BFA regime last year.

“Recruitment of former players has been in the pipeline since Letshwiti took over office. Some of the former players have already been appointed at the junior ranks and a lot more will be roped in before the end of the year to assist with Letshwiti’s mandate of development,” a source said.

Recently, BFA appointed former Zebras players in the senior and junior national teams’ technical department. Polokwane City goalkeeper coach Modiri Marumo was brought on board as national team goalkeeper coach on a part time basis while another veteran goalkeeper Kagiso Tshelametsi drills the Under-17 goalkeepers bound for the COSAFA tournament expected to commence this month.

However, the development is said to have brushed some BFA top brass the wrong way as they believe competency is key when deploying personnel for vacant positions.  “The ongoing exercise is complicated as some top BFA officials are of a view that only a few have the capacity to mentor at administrative level hence the majority will be roped in the technical aspect of the game, the source said.

BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said while it was not policy, any football association has a responsibility to take care of its former players as they are key to the development of football.

“There is nothing official that there is an exercise to lure back yesteryear players but football legends will always bring value to the game in some sort. It is not a matter of looking at legends alone but people who can move the association forward as we appoint according to merit. We have a lot of past stars that I believe can assist in the growth of football and it is a fact that either Mompati Thuma, Tshelametsi and  Itumeleng Duicker just to name a few can add value to the local game as they understand football better,” Mpatane said.


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