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Bright becomes a beacon of hope for Zebras

I guess it’s no longer a secret that the Botswana Football Association (BFA) on Monday unveiled the new Zebras coach after they penned a three year deal with veteran coach and compatriot, Major David ‘Fakude’ Bright. Soccer loving pundits are hoping that Bright’s appointment which comes hot on the heels of former coach and British national, Peter James Butler who quit last month to join Platinum Stars just next door in Rustenburg, South Africa will add some verve into the ailing Zebras.

Bright took over the reins of the Zebras technical team as the head coach. Bright’s appointment comes immediately after the former coach Peter James Butler disappointed the BFA when he jumped ship to take a lucrative offer with the ABSA premiership side Platinum Stars of North West province in South Africa.

Sentiments from the ever grinding rumour mill is that Butler had verbally agreed with the BFA for a new contract after his 2014 three year spell elapsed but unfortunately squabbles within the BFA allegedly pushed him away despite the British gaffer enjoying the support of the BFA National Executive Committee  (NEC).

The Briton will however be credited for having reached the COSAFA Cup late last year despite him having failed dismally to fulfil other mandates directed to him to deliver. Although the BFA had briefly appointed Oris Radipotsane as the Zebras caretaker, the new dawn now sees an experienced former Township Rollers consultant – coach coming to the fore with the hope of reviving national team glory.

Onkabetse Makgantai of Botswana during the 2016 Cosafa Cup Semifinal match between Botswana and DR Congo at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek Namibia on 22 June, 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bright ascends to the hot seat with a little baptism of fire as his first assignment will see him facing arch-rivals Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the CHAN competition this Saturday in Francistown. Although the BFA has not equally mandated him to further win the respective local based players’ competition, as a person he knows that this could be the chance for him to redeem the trust back into the disgruntled Zebras’ fans.

Several Zebras fans have recently stressed their disappointment regarding the lukewarm performance of the national team.  When accepting the offer, Bright said this is the first time he takes over the Zebras gaffer role on full time basis adding that he looks forward to bringing back the team’s 2012 fortunes.

Bright was close to qualifying for the Summer Olympics in 2008 with the Under-23 national team dubbed the Dream Team. He further acknowledged that it is high time the local league exports players to further their skill thus he will use his international connections to recommend a few.

Zebras has enjoyed positive results from Francistown stadium

“I look forward to winning many games with the Zebras. Please note that I am here for results and nothing else. I will take this job with my utmost dedication and passion. I believe that the national team is no place to develop players. For me the development teams’ coaches will be a priority area and I will work with them closely. I will also work with premier League coaches to strengthen the local pool of players and assist in having more local exports.”

Meanwhile the BFA President, MacLean Letshwiti could not hide his delight when announcing and welcoming Bright back into the Zebras. Although Letshwiti trusts Bright’s prowess, he further appealed to the nation to give the local lad support and also to exercise patience with the team. Furthermore, he noted that it will be mandatory for the coach to reach the 2018 AFCON finals.

“I highly recommend the nation to support the coach. We have tasked him with qualifying to the final of the 2018 COSAFA final as well as qualifying for the 2019 AFCON. Also, despite his appointment happening within days to the start of the competition, we want our coach to beat Bafana Bafana and qualify to the next level of CHAN but he will be not be put under pressure,” he concluded.

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Moagi Madisa

"Although journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the product of these activities; for me its science - our sorroundings"

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