The 2012 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign for the Zebras is now history. It is now time to put preparations in place for the 2013 AFCON in South Africa and 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Zebras’ campaign in Gabon has showed that there is need for the technical team to bring in new blood in the team, more especially that the Zebras were the second oldest team at the tournament. Sunday Standard journalist TSHEPO MOLWANE picks some of the youngsters who can benefit the national team going forward.
Alphonse Modisaotsile (Gaborone United
Since arriving at the Reds, Gino has been instrumental in the middle of the park. He has proved his class from his days at TAFIC and has been unfortunate not to be picked by national selectors. He has gained enough international experience while playing for the Under-23s. A down-to-earth youngster who is willing to learn, by the time the World Cup is held in Brazil, he will be 29 years.
Tshepo Baipoledi (BDF XI)
He was brought in from Lobatse Young Stars at the beginning of the 2011-2012 Premier League season and he has matured fast. Captained the national Under-20 during the COSAFA tournament hosted here in December. He impressed many scouts who were here during the tournament because of his leadership skills. He has a bright future ahead of him if he can be called into the national team camp regularly. Some people might say that he is still young for the senior team but if guided properly he can follow in the footsteps of Ndiyapo Letsholathebe and Mompati Thuma.
Thato Bolweleng (Township Rollers)
If he focuses well in the upcoming league programme, Bolweleng has what it takes to break into the right-back position. A hardworking youngster, who has the ability to deliver both in defence and when going forward. His main undoing has been alleged indiscipline.
Hendrick Moyo (BMC)
He has hunger for goals and he is what the Zebras need going forward. Even though the technical team cannot use him now, the experience gained from these camps can do us good in the future. He is going to be a different product under the guidance of Chicco Nare at BMC. A good listener who is willing to learn everyday.
Ofentse Mmpi (Extension Gunners)
One wonders what this poor boy has to do to break into the national team. He has all the attributes that modern coaches need from midfielders that are the ability to defend and attack. He has been called for camps in the past but was dropped when it comes to match days. He has been exceptional for his club over the years, but some of the undeserving players have been called ahead of him.
Galabgwe Moyana (Mochudi Centre Chiefs)
Before the league went on a break in December, Moyana was the best left-winger in the country but he was unfortunate not to get a call-up. The good thing is that Moyana can fit in any system which is introduced by the technical team. He can score goals and has proven deadly from the set-pieces. With due respect to other players in his position, Moyana is the best at the moment.
Isaac Paeye (BDF XI)
He has never disappointed at all the clubs he has played for. He is currently one of the best right-backs in the country, having played for the national Under-23. Paeye can provide quality crosses and has an eye for goal. The unfortunate part is that he has always played for sides which are never considered by the national selectors. Under the guidance of Nelson Setshwane at BDF XI, there is no doubt that Paeye will improve.
Mathews Moruti (Uniao Flamengo Santos)
Ask anyone about this youngster who attended the COSAFA Under-20 tournament which was played here two months ago, he will tell you that he is a genius. At the age of 18, Moruti has proven that he can become a top striker if guided properly. In games where he was unavailable for the Young Zebras, he was sorely missed. Just like Zambia coach Herve Renard did when he called Under-20 sensation Evans Kangwa to AFCON, our technical team can start introducing him to senior team camps. Renard noted that he does not want to rush Kangwa but it’s important for him to be around seasoned campaigners at the tournament.
Kekaetswe Moloi (Mochudi Centre Chiefs)
What led to his exclusion from the Nations Cup squad remains a mystery. The truth of the matter is that Moloi is currently on top of his game. This season he has netted 14 goals in 15 games he has featured in for the Kgatleng giants. He has proven his class at his club this season scoring with ease. In the upcoming qualifiers, it is going to be important for the technical team to consider calling the 25-year-old Modipane striker. His main attribute is his discipline.
Edwin Olerile (Township Rollers)
The decision by the technical team to take only one left-back to the tournament shocked the football fraternity, considering the availability of Olerile. When Mosimanegape Ramohibidu caught flu at the tournament, the technical team was forced to use a right-footed Musa Ohilwe and he struggled. Head coach Stanley Tshosane decried lack of commitment from Olerile but it is important for the coach to call him again. He is currently one of the best in the country considering that age is still on his side.