The national football team, Zebras’ interim coach, Oris Radipotsane is confident of winning this year’s edition of the COSAFA Castle Cup after Botswana fell short of bagging the trophy last year against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Windhoek, Namibia. Aggrieved Batswana and hordes of Zebras supporters blamed losing the cup due to dubious refereeing which characterized the finale played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia where they lost 3-2 to Bafana Bafana.
Zebras will open their COSAFA account with a quarterfinal clash against arch-rivals Zambia on Saturday at Moruleng stadium in the North-West province of South Africa. Speaking during a press briefing today ahead of the team’s departure, Radipotsane said they will take the momentum of reaching the finals last year and use it to reach the championship stage this year.
He further noted that he’s happy to have reunited with his former players now in his technical team to boost their credibility. Botswana Football Association (BFA) has roped in the two former goalkeepers; Modiri Marumo and Kagiso Tshelametsi as goalkeeper coach and assistant respectively. The two are some of the new recruits brought in by the BFA in their new structure of using former players in the national teams.
“My technical team has been advanced, although we don’t have an assistant coach but these two know what I want from them. I have coached them before and we have had a good week of training sessions. Marumo has left camp to report at his club in RSA but he will join us in Moruleng. All is well with the technical team, the working relations have been professional and the players also responded well.”
“The players are ready to face Zambia, they are even looking beyond this game but I have cautioned them to respect the opponents and to do the job on the field. However, I am confident we will beat Zambia and progress further.”
“I have dropped Captain Ofentse Nato because he hasn’t played since January and his match fitness was below par, with injuries. It was only Thato Kebue who won’t make up the travelling squad due to the injuries he sustained in the last Zebras game.” The BFA has also given Radipotsane a tough task of winning the championship.
BFA CEO, Ookeditse Malesu said as the BFA they want gold medals because of last year’s showing that Zebras has the ability to become champions. “Last year, we reached the finals and became runners up, this year is our year to win it and we have mandated our coach and the players to win it. We accept nothing but the cup and gold medals,” said Malesu.
Meanwhile, stand-in captain Tebogo Sosome said the morale in the camp is high and the lads are looking forward to representing the country to their best capabilities. “Our aim is to be the first group to win the cup, we narrowly won it last year. I therefore urge supporters to travel to Moruleng in large numbers. It was their support last year in Namibia that pushed us harder. Thus it is only logical for them to travel in large numbers since Moruleng is nearer compared to Windhoek.”
Botswana squad for COSAFA
- Mwampule Masule- Township Rollers
- Michael James- Black Forest
- Anthony gouws- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Tebogo Sosome- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Moreetsi Mosimanyana- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Mosha Gaolaolwe- Township Rollers
- Simisane Mathumo-township rollers
- Onkebetse Sefore- BDF XI
- Thabo Leinanyane- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Tapiwa Gadibolae- POLICE XI
- Lebogang Ditsile- Highlands Park
- Lesego Galenamotlhale- Center Chiefs
- Thero Setsile- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Kabelo Seakanyeng- Gaborone United
- Lemponye Tshireletso- Township Rollers
- Thatayaone Kgamanyane- black forest
- Mpho Kgaswane- Baroka fc
- Richard Legwaila- BDF XI
- Lemogang Maswena- Orapa United
- Omaatla Kebatho- Orapa United
- Tumisang Orebonye- Gaborone United
- Thabang Sesinyi- Jwaneng Galaxy
- Hendric Moyo- POLICE XI