Monday, June 5, 2023

Ramosoeu home but not for Zebras

Botswana’s South African based star, Samuel Ramosoeu, is in the country and this comes shortly after he was included for the first time in the senior national team.

While this has been good news, some uncertainty has since ensured over his citizenship, bringing his eligibility to play for the national team under scrutiny. In an interview with the Sunday Standard, the well-traveled player revealed his lack of interest in playing for the national team. He told Sunday Standard that he has had to deal with the frustration of being away from home, trying the best he could under difficult circumstances and actually making it and when he thought he deserved recognition back home, it did not materialize.

“I had to make my own club my national team as I had realised that I was never going to be considered for the national team. I made the resolve as I felt that paying too much attention to the predicament would eventually affect my play,” he said. He also said that he thought having played for all junior teams meant he was in the system, adding that his whereabouts never bothered the BFA. He said there is no way the BFA could not have known where he was because they issued him with his international clearance when he moved to Namibia.

“As a player and a person I get hurt. I know how much people appreciated my talents from the time I was at Gunners and Chiefs. I would ask myself-how could I come so far and do well and they know where I am yet they don’t call. I could not call them myself,” he said. While he says it is now in the past and that his only focus is his club, he would not rule out the possibility of playing for the Zebras or any other country.

The BFA has often failed to monitor the progress of players in oversees leagues. It happened with Thato Sisca while in Qatar, Edwin Disang in America and it is understood that there is another player there, who is a left back. Currently, it looks like Ndiapo Letsholathebe is next.

Ramosoeu left the country a young boy in 2003 to try his luck in England after wining the Namibian league with Blue waters. At the time, it is understood that he had offers from South Africa but shunned them for the European country. In England, he never got the chance to play for a proper league as he was disqualified by the fact that he had not featured in a certain percentage of Botswana’s last official games and added to that the country fell way outside the requisite bracket in terms of FIFA rankings.

One Dennis Brainborrow then facilitated his move to New Zealand where he made an instant mark. Ironically, he might be facing the All Whites in June and prove key to offering insight on what to expect from the side. This season he came to South Africa and scored four goals in five matches before sustaining a hamstring injury that has kept him on the sidelines ever since. About the quick success in South Africa he said he had anticipated it, as he was top goal scorer for his club with 11 goals before coming to the southern African country. He also revealed that he was also ahead of former Manning Rangers player, Grant Young, adding that he perceives no major difference in terms of standard between New Zealand and South African football. He explained that the major difference, though, lies in the fact that the former are more physical, stick to basics and are fierce air competitors than the latter’s less physical play and one-two-touch football.

He also highlighted that his blazing start to the season was to payback the faith his coach at Bidvest Wits University, Roger de Sar, showed in him. “Roger believed in what I could do with the ball and the onus was now on me to return the favour and, fortunately, I did just that. I was not really surprised with my performance as I had been a top goal scorer with my club back in New Zealand but I was excited,” admitted the 26-year-old.

Ramosoue spoke highly of his fellow country men in South Africa whom he described as fighters. He spoke at length about Diphetogo Selolwane and credited him for laying the foundation for Botswana players in the neighbouring country. His agent is currently Benji Nkhathi who has under his wings players like Esrom Nyandoro, Zvenyika Makonese and others. The player will be in the country for a short while.

His message to local players aspiring to play abroad is that they should never stop dreaming.


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