It is now in the open, national team coach, Stanley Tshosane, is a frustrated man. The coach does not have power to select the team he thinks is the best, but rather the Botswana Football Association’s technical director does. Things came in to the open on Friday during the press conference the BFA had called to announce the team that will play friendly games against Lesotho on Wednesday in Maseru. Tshosane announced that he could only pick the local based players on the instructions of the BFA. He even openly emphasised that he wanted almost all South African based players to create a combination with local players. “Most of the local players in the national team are young and inexperienced and when you bring experienced ones they learn something.
Also the local players have never played with the ones outside and friendly games are a chance. Blending experience with inexperience is also a platform to find the right combination. Unfortunately, despite the Lesotho game falling under FIFA calendar I could not get all foreign based players,” said Tshosane. His remarks left several journalists wondering whether he is being undermined as a local coach.
There were instances in the past when foreign coaches would pick a strong team for games that mattered little and nothing was said from the BFA. The technical director of the BFA, Losika Keatlholetswe has, however, defended the move saying there is nothing sinister. “Each association world wide has its own planning. There is always a time whereby the association feels only local players should be given a chance, and that’s what we have done and we feel is better. This is mainly done to help the coach have a pool of players. We want a situation whereby the coach cannot struggle as has always been the case in the past,” he said.
Keatlholetswe even went to the extent of giving an example of goalkeeper Modiri Marumo. He said it is only a matter of time before he calls it a day and there is a gap between him and the up coming goalkeepers.
“Right now, we have a situation whereby we are facing a huge gap between the incumbent first choice goalkeeper, Marumo, and in three to four years he would be retiring and we should act urgently to fill that gap,” he said. On the other hand, Tshosane looked unfazed saying he needed players like Phenyo Mongala and Sam Ramosweu since they are also yet to play for the national team and are doing well for their respective teams in South Africa. The differences between the two men were even evident in front of the journalists as Tshosane insisted to have had a stronger team regardless of the strength of the opponents. Whether the differences between the two men showed the end of an era for Tshosane remains to be seen since his contract is expiring at the end of May. There is also a worrying factor of Tshosane’s short contract since he would not have a long plan.
There have been reports that a new coach would be found while Tshosane will assist him. On the issue, Keatlholetswe said the issue is given utmost attention by the BFA behind closed doors. He did not want to elaborate saying things would be clarified at the perfect time. In regard to the issue of getting tough opponents for the Zebras, Keatlholetswe emphasized that it is difficult since the Zebras are not in the qualifying stages of any tournament and as such countries only prefer the ones already campaigning. He added that luring tough opponents comes at a huge cost which, in most cases, is not easy for Botswana to afford. Tshosane expressed happiness at the way the team he has in the camp is responding to his tactics. He said he has been impressed by many players who he would consider picking in the next games. He added that despite sending an almost third string team to Namibia, the players played brilliantly. He said from the onset to the final whistle Botswana was outstanding. He singled out Under 20 and Notwane’s Galabgwe Moyane to have had a brilliant game.