After their controversial exclusion from the squad which took part at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Township Rollers’ left-back Edwin Olerile and Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ marksman Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi have been named in the 25-man Zebras’ squad which reports for camp this evening.
The two players’ exclusion saw many people criticizing head coach Stanley Tshosane for favouritism when it comes to selection. Both players were on a high for their clubs prior to the Nations Cup with Moloi having netted 14 goals in 15 games.
When quizzed about Moloi, Tshosane claimed that he has called the striker before but he failed to pitch up. But Moloi dismissed the claims.
Olerile was expected to have been in the team considering that Mosimanegape Ramohibidu was the only left-back in the team.
On Friday morning, Tshosane said he had decided to call a relatively new squad, considering that most of the players who took part at AFCON have shown their desire to retire from international football.
Only five players from AFCON squad have been included in the two-week camp and these are Kabelo Dambe, Noah Maposa, Musa Ohilwe, Ofentse Nato and Mogakolodi Ngele.
Most of the players are members of the Under-23 squads which were coached by David Bright and Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare.
“When I was appointed in 2009, I wanted to have continuity in the team and I made it clear to the association. But due to lack of funds some of the things I wanted to achieve were not possible. Most of the youngsters called for the camp have been in my plans looking at the age of most of the players in the team which went to Gabon,” said Tshosane.
He pointed out that the main idea for the camp is to have a close look at the players and see who are ready to represent the Zebras in the qualifiers. With the COSAFA Cup coming in April or May, Tshosane said it is important to prepare now.
“We’re not worried about COSAFA though the tournament will help us prepare for the World Cup qualifiers. We’re working on getting a friendly game for March 21 in order to assess these youngsters in a game situation. The intention is to have the game played here (in Gaborone),” added Tshosane.
Information reaching Sunday Standard indicates that Botswana Football Association (BFA) Chief Executive Officer Duncan Kgame wrote to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) about the possibility of the friendly game. At the time of going to press, FAZ were still to respond. The Zebras missed an opportunity of playing a high-profile friendly game against Egypt on February 29 in Cairo because Tshosane said there was no team.
Zebras players called for camp; Dambe, Maposa, Mompoloki Sephekolo, Ohilwe, Olerile, Ontse Ntesa, Edwin Motlhagodi, Kabo Rasuping, Bakang Moeng, Ngele, Moloi, Tebogo Sembowa, Molatedi Mabina, Moreetsi Mosimanyana, Mandla Mgadla, Jackie Mothatego, Galabgwe Moyana, Lesego Galenamotlhala, Khumoetsile Kufigwa, Lemogang Maswena, Kgololo Leteane, Hendrick Moyo, Simisane Mathumo and Thabiso Khunwane.