Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Under 23 team not assembled

Botswana’s national Under 23 that was under the tutelage of Major David Bright is unarguably the country’s best crop.

It is the only team that heavily marketed Botswana football internationally because they caused upsets where the least was expected.

Bright might be coaching in the professional ranks in South Africa mainly because of the achievement of the team. Nobody thought bigger football nations like Cameroon, Tunisia, Morocco, Guinea and Angola would fall victims to Botswana.

That team definitely had something their predecessors lacked. They never undermined themselves and always showed a lot of confidence.

Already three players from that Under 23 group are playing in the professional ranks in South Africa, namely Noah Maposa, Phenyo Mongala and Jerome Ramatlhakwane.

Many Batswana are actually looking forward to an improved performance and this is the time something concrete should be on the ground. Already the international matches for the Under 23 are fast approaching and Botswana is yet to assemble a squad for both the 2011 All African Games and the 2012 Olympics.

This then means competitive matches would start next year, leaving Botswana with little time. Other countries are better off because their junior teams like the under 20s, who would be automatically be graduating were busy with some international matches.

Botswana, on the other hand, has long appointed coach, Kenneth Mogae, and his assistant, Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare, to be in charge of the team.

But they haven’t actually started and there is concern on when exactly would they be starting.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Football Association, Losika Keatlholetswe, told The Telegraph that plans are already under way to assemble a very strong Under 23 team.

He said by the beginning of next year, the team will get into camp.
“By the fact of having long appointed coaches shows we are serious. Bear in mind we once had the national Under 20 that was under Oris Radipotsane and Teenage Mpote and we have another national Under 20 that will be competing at this year’s COSAFA tournament. The national Under 23 would then be selected from the two teams and, hopefully, the coaches will come up with a solid squad,” he said.

Keatlholetswe also stressed that only those players born on or after January 31st 1989 would be eligible to play for the team. Some of those players expected to make a huge mark include the likes of Aubrey Kebonnetse, Tebogo Dambe (Township Rollers), Mogakolodi Ngele (Santos), Gaopatwe ‘Shoes’ Seosenyeng, just to mention a few.


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