When the Zebras’ national team coach, Stanley Tshosane, announced his preliminary squad for the qualifications of 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil, the notable absentees were veteran goalkeeper, Modiri Marumo, and midfielder, Diphetogo Selolwane.
For Selolwane, it was long coming and he wanted to quit international football but it was Marumo’s absence that raised eyebrows. This is because goalkeepers grow with age and he still had a few years remaining in him to don the Zebras jersey.
At the age of 36, Marumo could play up to more than 40 as is the case with some goalkeepers around the World. Marumo has played for the national team for more than 15 years and just before he hung up his international gloves, he had become a pillar of the national team and saved it from losses on many occasions.
Some experts believe that it was not yet time for Marumo to hang up his international gloves and strong efforts should be made to bring him back. Former BDF XI player and Mogoditshane Fighters coach, Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgengwenya, told Sunday Standard that a person of Marumo’s caliber should be kept in the team at all costs for the development of football.
“In Botswana we don’t have a pool of good players to select from and we should not easily lose someone like Marumo. I think he should still be part of the team for a few more years to help upcoming players like Kabelo Dambe and Noah Maposa. Experience is priceless and should not be allowed to be easily lost,” he said.
Kgengwenyane added that big countries like Egypt have their players playing for the national team for a long time.
“If you look at that great Egypt team, they had most of their players playing beyond the age of 35 and it worked for them. We should do it here since we don’t have a pool to select from,” he said.
Kgengwenyane’s words were echoed by Fobby Radipotsane, who said Marumo is still needed. He, however, added that there might be underlying issues that resulted in him not making it to the national team. Radipotsane also emphasised that the void created by Marumo is not that big because upcoming goalkeepers are doing a marvelous job. Our league has tremendously grown over the past few years and that has seen the emergence of players like Dambe and Maposa. They are doing marvelous jobs at their respective teams. Even when given a chance at the senior national team they grab it with both hands and give their best,” he said.