While Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele’s recent performances are sending shock waves in the football fraternity, the BFA technical officer, Philemon Makhengwe, says it hardly comes as a surprise to him as he knew Ngele’s potential all along.
Makwengwe feels that Ngele has come rather late and could have long made it to top flight football. Makhwengwe said that there are a host of other complete players from their development structures but teams are just not recognizing them. He cited Marapong Highlanders Midfielder, Tynos Dunduza Gumbo, whom he tipped alongside Ngele to join Boitumelo Mafoko in forming the backbone of the Zebras in the not so distant future. Makgwengwe told Sunday Standard that they have, in the past, recommended some players to the national team coaches but the identified players were never used.
He went on to say that, as the Technical office, they can only go as far as recommending the players but everything is all up to the coaches. Makhwengwe added that some of the unused talent has the ability to change the landscape of Botswana football. Teams can only help make the situation worse as they currently spot their players at the national junior teams. The clubs that have some of the players from the Under 20 barely give them a run.
Aubrey Kebonnetse of Township Rollers made headlines at the Under 20, scoring freely but is yet to be given a chance at his own team. The same team has signed another sensational talent in Kabelo Dambe. The goal minder has since taken over from the first choice, Basimanebotlhe Moilwa of Naughty Boys. Dambe played his heart out against Gabon and South Africa pulling off crucial saves. The towering goal keeper looks to be a good match reader who can organise his defense pretty well and his distribution is undoubtedly second to none.
On what they, as BFA, are doing to expose the talent to local teams. Makhwengwe said they can only marvel the talent in tortured silence and hope teams will eventually join them.
├¼There is nothing we can do, it is against ethics to scout talent for individual clubs, lest we be accused of affiliation to certain clubs,├« he said.
One issue he regretted was that some of the players that went through their structures are not played where they can fully utilize their potential. He cited Tebogo Sebina of Police XI, who is played at the heart of defence but is an exceptional midfielder.
├¼In any case, coaches are the ones who decide where a player should be played, just as much as we can sit by and watch a certain coach sign a player who won’t fit in their system and ruin his career.├«
Losika Six Keathotse, the association’s technical director, also believes the mechanisms put in place are bearing fruit, but says more still needed to be done to ensure more and more players are groomed.
Comparing the current Under 17 to the past immediate one, Keathotse suggested that, in terms of technique, speed and handling of the ball, the current team is the better side.
The Under 23 striker-cum-winger, Kaone Molefe, also drew comparisons between their side and the Under 20 and concluded that the latter are better team.