The national Under-20 team is expected to report for camp next weekend to prepare for the annual regional Cosafa tournament to be played in Lesotho in December.
When the youngsters show up for camp, they will be under the tutelage of a new coaches following Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s decision to revamp the technical staff of all the national teams.
The Young Zebras who are expected to fight for regional glory will be led by Innocent Morapedi, assisted by Atshele Molapi.
Assistant coach at national champions Mochudi Center Chiefs, Morapedi is not new to the Young Zebras’ coaching role.
A decade ago, he was the assistant to Young Zebras coach Sepheko Motlhagodi.
Morapedi replaces Extension Gunners coach, Odirile Matlhaku, who has been at the helm of the team for the past two years.
In his first task, Morapedi will be faced with the mammoth task of mentoring the team to victory in a tournament that has eluded the country for long.
Botswana are in Group D alongside Swaziland and favourites Zimbabwe for the tournament which is expected to run from December 3-14.
“It was not easy decision to make but Morapedi beat some of the candidates who were also in the running for the job. At the moment, they have not been informed because we had to check with their employers first if they are available for the national duty. We have no doubt that they are the right candidates to take over as our developmental coaches,” said a highly-placed source at BFA headquarters.
The experienced Charity Madisa makes a return to the set-up as the team’s manager with former Desert Nxau star Master Coetzee as the equipment manager. The role of goalkeeper trainer has not been filled but former Motswadi Motswadi and Blue Same of Nico United are favourites to take the role.
BFA president, Tebogo Sebego, would not reveal the names of the players saying that the concerned parties have not been informed. He said the information would be released “soon” to pave the way for the team’s preparation for the tournament.
Sebego expressed satisfaction with the candidates and said he believed they have the ability to bring the desired results.
“As for the team we wanted the youngsters to finish the exams hence they will be reporting for camp next weekend. It is a challenge to put the team into camp at this time of the year. The good thing is that the team will be made up of mostly the players from the Under-17 squad (which took part at the African Youth Championships in Morocco early this year),” said Sebego. Some of the youngsters expected to make the team to the Mountain Kingdom include exciting towering midfielder Lebogang Ditsile, pint-sized Thatayaone Ramatlapeng and Tsotlhe Leshatla.