National team coach, Colwyn Rowe, has defended his decision to re-call unfit defender, Khumo ‘Shoes’ Motlhabane, to the national team. Rowe said the long-time injured defender can play in any position and has a very good attitude.
“We all know that Motlhabane has been injured for a very long time and I have to admit that he is still not fit to play competitive games. We are currently assessing him and he is responding well at training. Motlhabane is a unique player because he can play effectively in any position he is assigned by the coach. I also like the way he conducts himself and I hope he will soon play,” said Rowe.
Motlhabane’s inclusion raised eyebrows because he has not even started playing regularly at his team, Uniao Flamengo Santos. Nevertheless, once he bounces back in the team he is expected to fill the left back position that has been the most worrisome in the national team. Players like Nelson ‘Viola’ Gabolwelwe were at times assigned to the position but performed dismally.
The Zebras are preparing for the upcoming Cosafa Castle Cup games next weekend and the Africa Cup of Nationa qualifies in October.
Other new faces in the Zebras colours is the duo of Mochudi Centre Chiefs defender-cum-midfielder Gobonyeone ‘Shoes’ Selefa and goalkeeper Noah Maposa.
Maposa’s call has been imminent mainly because of the daring performances he displayed in past games for the national under 23 and his team. Recently, at the Sasol Eight Nations Tournament in South Africa he was voted the goalkeeper of the tournament. Selefa, on the other hand, has also been outstanding. But some critics have questioned his call ahead of other excellent players, like the Under 23 captain and Township Rollers defender, Mmusa Ohilwe. Rowe did not want to comment on individual players. He made it clear that he does not want to get into a situation where by he calls more under 23 players at a go. He also stressed that the Zebras defence has been doing well and there is currently no need to call more defenders.
“If I call other defenders some people will go to the extent of saying why I left seasoned defenders like Mompati Thuma, Ernest Amos and Ndiapo Letsholathebe. They did well and conceded least number of goals in the past games. If there is a need to call other players it has to be done gradually,” he said.