Thursday, February 29, 2024

What needs to be done?

Around October it will be almost clear on the five countries that will represent Africa at 2014 World Cup that will be held in Brazil. Already ten teams are one step in to the World Cup and a draw will be conducted in few weeks be made for knockout stages that will played on two legs. After ten teams booked their places to the last stage there were many casualities from many countries that did not make it especially from the technical departments.

Many coaches resigned while others were shown the door. Botswana on the other hand is among those countries that did not make it to the final round and already there is a hullabaloo from some quarters of the soccer fraternity to give coach, Stanley Tshosane the boot. Tshosane is the very same coach who just last year was the darling of Botswana soccer when he took The Zebras to their first ever appearance at 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). At the same time there are is also resistance from some football circles that say firing the coach would not solve problems be-delving Botswana soccer. The question now is whether it would be wise to eventually relieve Tshosane of his duties and bring someone new.

Tshosane on the other hand has always maintained that he would not resign and it is the Botswana Football Association that will decide his future. Prior and during the 2014 World Cup campaign, the former BDF XI mentor always decried lack of necessary support for the team compared to the time when they qualified for AFCON. On the other hand, veteran coach, Teenage Mpote told Sunday Standard that firing the coach would be ill advised but rather a holistic approach is needed. “We should sit down and look at factors that took us to 2012 AFCON and ways of sustaining that. In you fire a coach and you bring someone new, he is still going to face the same challenges we see now. We should bear in mind that preparations are key for the national team to do well. Even if you have the best players and you do not prepare well you would not get the results that you want,” he said.

“Mpote who has been a regular coach for the national Under 20 stressed that a lot needs to be done in the youth teams. He added that even when there is a good youth team in Botswana it just disappears. “Currently we just had the best Under 17 that competed at African Youth Championships and those guys were the only team from Southern Africa. As we are speaking now, where is that team,” he said. Mpote’s words were echoed by another veteran and well decorated local coach, Major David Bright. Bright made it clear that Tshosane should not be fired but rather assisted. He said Tshosane is handling a national project that require a lot of hands that are currently missing.

“I would love to see a situation where by there is a strong technical team behind Tshosane. Experienced coaches should come and help him and that’s what most countries are doing. In addition there should also be those coaches for the national youth teams and I can bet with you something positive would always come up,” he said.

Bright gave an example of Brazil’s technical bench which is made up of seasoned coaches like Luiz Philipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira. Bright also called on the Botswana Football Association to always call national coaches and brainstorm issues affecting football, something he said would also benefit the country and eventually the national team. Bright also stressed that a lot more also still need to be done for the national team to always qualify for major tournaments or else Botswana football would not go anyway. “A lot should be done and we have been saying it for a long time and it looks like we are just singing a song now. Botswana can be one of the greatest soccer nations in the world if we do what is needed to be done. The fundamental issue should be development and it should be seen on the ground. Development should start from the Premier League teams but there is almost nothing and how can we succeed in such circumstances.

Since teams are also always complaining about money, the Botswana Football Association should come on board and have active youth teams of all categories. But there is still nothing and currently one of our best under 17 that qualified for African Championships is no-where to be seen and even the Premier League teams are not making use of its players.


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