Gaborone United (GU) striker Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping has challenged local players who have been included in the Zebras’ squad for the Cosafa Castle Cup to do the nation proud at the games, which will be played in Zambia from July 6-20.
Moatlhaping has been included in the 20-man squad which goes into the camp today after missing the recent World Cup qualifiers due to family commitments.
The Zebras are in Group B alongside minnows Lesotho, Swaziland and East African giants, Kenya, who are the guest side in this tournament.
“This is a chance for those who did not get a chance in the World Cup qualifiers to prove themselves. We’ll have to go out there and do our country proud. If we do well at the games it will give the coach (Stanley Tshosane) a headache when he calls future camps,” said Moatlhaping shortly after the release of the squad.
He pointed out that Cosafa Cup is a big tournament, which is usually watched by scouts from different countries. He advised his teammates that if they give their best, there is likelihood that they might be snatched by foreign clubs.
Moatlhaping was part of the squad that played at the last Cosafa tournament in Zimbabwe in 2008. He believes that the Zebras have what it takes to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The winner of Group B will take on Angola in the quarterfinals on July 14 in Kabwe.
“I don’t think we’ll have any problems playing Swaziland and Lesotho because we’re familiar with their style of football. Our biggest challenge will be Kenya but we’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.
After missing the recent World Cup qualifiers due to family commitments, Moatlhaping said that he is excited to have been recalled.
“It is every player’s dream to play for the national team. All I need to do is to work hard so that I can get a starting berth in the team,” he added.
Moatlhaping last played for the Zebras on March 24 when they lost 1-0 in Addis Ababa. Zebras’ coach Stanley Tshosane said that the regional tournament would give him a chance to have a look at some of the players who did not get a chance to play in recent times.
“I know we need positive results from the tournament but what the most important thing is is to build for the future. As much as we need results, we need to look at the bigger picture,” said Tshosane.
The rest of the squad is as follows;
Mompoloki Sephekolo (Mochudi Centre Chiefs), Michael Pepukane (Township Rollers), Noah Maposa (GU); Mompati Thuma (BDF XI), Oscar Ncenga (Rollers), Moshe Gaolaolwe (BMC), Edwin Olerile (GU), Tshepo Motlhabankwe (Chiefs), Pako Lekgare (Black Africa, Namibia), Ndiyapo Letsholathebe (BDF XI), Gaopatwe Seosenyeng (GU), Richard Legwaila (Nico United), Alphonse Modisaotsile (GU), Topo Piet (Nico United), Jackie Mothatego (GU), Ntesang Simanyana (Rollers), Lemponye Tshireletso (BDF XI), Moemedi Moatlhaping (GU), Gift Moyo (Nico United) and Tebogo Sembowa (GU).