Thursday, July 7, 2022

The best ever national Under 20?

Never has in the history of Botswana football, young players under the age of 20 been the dominant force in the elite league.

More young players, especially those who were in the national under 20 are not only given game time at their respective teams, but are excelling beyond expectations.

Last week, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele of Uniao Flamengo Santos was crowned Coca-Cola Player of the Tournament ahead of seasoned players.
Last year in the same tournament and his first season in the elite league, he was the leading goal-scorer. This time around the young lad pocketed an amazing P20 000.

The great prize for Ngele comes just a few weeks after another under 20 sensation, Ofentse Nato, won two big awards at be-mobile Premier League awards. He won Supporters and Players Player of the Season awards.

Many people thought he deserved to win the Player of the Season that went to his fellow Gaborone United (GU) teammate, Joseph Phetogo. Nato was a revelation for the Under 20 and ended up taking his form to the elite league.

Another Under 20 player, Kabelo Dambe, has proven that he is a force to reckon with at Township Rollers. Despite the massive following the teams has and the pressure involved in manning the team goalposts, Dambe has stood the test of time and benched some of the seasoned players at the team.

Dambe together with Nato and Ngele, have so far earned themselves confidence of the national team coach, Stanley Tshosane. They have featured in some of the friendly games and did exceptionally well.

Also, players under the age of 20 are rarely called to the national team and they have made history.

Ntesang Simanayana of GU is also destined for greatness. He was also one of the engineers who helped GU win the league for the first time in almost 20 years. He was the midfield maestro who gave many defenders a torrid time.
Despite being relegated to the First Division, Naughty Boys had also two great Under 20 players in the name of Basimanebotlhe Moilwa and Kgaodi ‘Deco’ Odirile.

The unfortunate thing for them was that the team had huge internal problems at the top, and it affected the whole team, ending in relegation.

The two might end up being signed by the Premier League teams before the end of the transfer window. They were influential in the team and even at the Under 20.

Moilwa fought for the number one jersey with Dambe at the Under 20. Another Under 20 sensation, Aubrey Kebonnetse, has also shown that once given a chance he can score.

In the last matches for Rollers last season, he scored regularly. Even in the first game of the season he scored after being given a run. Before joining Rollers, Kebonnetse was the leading goalscorer at the Under 20. His partnership with Ngele was one of the deadliest. Unfortunately, he got injured for most part of last season.


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