GABORONE, Botswana, February 19, 2021/ — The Botswana national team players, have called on the entire nation to rally behind the team ahead of their two decisive fixtures against Zimbabwe and Algeria next month (March). The Zebras have a yearning desire to qualify for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The current crop of Zebras players are harboring dreams of making history by becoming the second generation to reach the finals of AFCON. The first and last time the national team qualified was in 2012.Speaking prior to their intensive training session in Tlokweng where the team is currently camping, Township Rollers’ hard-tackling defender, Mosha Gaolaolwe said the mood in the camp is high and the integration of old campaigners and new players into the camp is working well, adding that the payers understand the coach’s philosophy and tactics.
“When we first came to camp, the new players struggled to get what the coach wanted from us. We all know what is at stake and we want to qualify for AFCON. It is every player’s dream to represent the country at the highest level and we ask the nation to support them team as we are all Batswana at the end of the day. We all want to see our country being celebrated across the world too. That is the most fulfilling feeling,” said Gaolaolwe.
For his part, Orapa United talisman, Onkabetse Makgantai expressed delight to be back in the national team fold.
“I am happy to be back in the national team. I continue to work hard to impress the technical team and help my country to qualify for this revered cup. Surely, representing the country in major tournaments like this one bring about opportunities of being scouted by international teams. I have ambitions of playing abroad and the national team caps are essential for me. I call on the nation to support The Zebras wholeheartedly,” said Makgantai.Gaborone United’s (GU) pintsized midfielder, Thatayaone Ramatlapeng pleaded and encouraged all the players to stay off social media as some negative commentary may demoralize the team.
“We have a task ahead of us, and it is collecting maximum points that will qualify us for AFCON, we are remarkably close, and we need only positive vibes. I encourage my fellow players to focus on the goal and give it all for Botswana. Though the matches will be played without the fans, I plead with the entire nation to support us. The team needs their undying support as always,” said Ramatlapeng on the sidelines of their training camp in Tlokweng recently.