Monday, September 28, 2020

Trials an insult for Nato?

Gaborone United (GU)’s utility midfielder, Ofentse Nato, is reportedly on his way for trials at South African Premier League rookies, University of Pretoria (UP).

The 22-year-old will go for a week-long trial starting from next week Monday. The question that many Batswana and even soccer pundits are asking themselves is why should Nato go for trials looking at the impeccable experience he has compared to many South African players who play for the national team.

Nato played for almost all matches for Botswana for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches and even at the tournament itself. He even impressed the most two weeks back when Botswana played to a one all draw against South Africa and even scored the equalising goal for Botswana.

The big lesson that UP should learn from is that of another enterprising player for Botswana, Mogakolodi Ngele, who is playing for Township Rollers. Ngele is reported to have signed for Platinum Stars and took him under the noses of Wits University who wanted him to go for trials first.

GU confirmed the developments for Nato, saying Amatuks, as UP are known, have formally written a letter to then.

“By calling him for trials is the way they do things and is something we have no control over. We also cannot refuse and say our player is more experienced to go for trials; we will just follow their procedures and we are adamant that he will make it,” he said.

Letsebe also said GU have made it clear to UP that if a good offer comes by while he is still on trial they will sell him right away. He said currently there is no concrete offer on the table.
“Several teams have inquired about him but there is nothing serious on the table. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge names of those teams but we are still waiting and, hopefully, something will come up for the boy,” he said.

Just like Letsebe, former player and spokesperson for GU, Gofhamodimo Senne, told The Telegraph that Nato is too experienced for trials. He also expressed optimism that he will make it through.
“Nato played for all the country’s youth teams and participated in tough matches. He is now one of the important players of the senior team that qualified for Afcon. But maybe it is the way they do things there but hopefully he will make it,” he said.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.