National football team, Zebras coach Major David Bright says his troops are ready and raring for their first COSAFA Cup glory in Polokwane, South Africa where they are expected to face Angola, Mauritius and Malawi in Group B of the Southern African tourney. When addressing members of the media at Lekidi Football Centre today, Bright highlighted that he is fully aware of the three obstacles his team will face in the tournament in order to become champions. This he mentioned include first triumphing in the group stages, facing Zimbabwe as well advancing to the semi-final and ultimately the final encounter.
The tournament which is anticipated to start this Sunday, May 27th until June 9th will see the relatively inexperienced Zebras with an average of 24 year-old players battling for the COSAFA Cup championship. When announcing his 20-men squad, Bright said after going into camp with 30 players, only 20 players officially reported for duty while some failed due to the league schedule as some teams did not release their players well on time.
“We have selected a different team but we can’t say it’s a reserve team but the fact that we will be playing in a formidable tournament is totally different from the qualifying games. You need a young team because scientifically a young player recovers fast and we want to also expose our players to the South African market. We have good players ready to ply their trade in international leagues with the ABSA Premiership being our main target. This is a sole reason why other young players like Thabang Sesinyi and Lebogang Ditsile who are already playing in international leagues are not part of the squad. They have already earned their mark,” said Bright.
Quizzed about his team’s preparedness ahead of the COSAFA Cup, the former Thanda Royal Zulu gaffer said he is quite happy with how his players continue to respond to his tactics and training sessions. “Our preparations went well, we have to win our group and beat Zimbabwe in the next stage. For the semi-finals and the final, we don’t know which opponents we are going to face. We are convinced that we will reach the finals, we have played this tournament in the past editions of the COSAFA, and we know what is at stake. We have played two friendlies with local clubs and we got what we wanted.”
Meanwhile, Zebras captain Alphonso Modisaotsile said the players are eager to reach their target and urged Batswana to rally behind his team as they need all the motivation they can get. The team is expected to leave for South Africa tomorrow.
The squad list: