The headcoach of the Botswana Under 17 national team blamed lack of international exposure after bowing out of the CAF qualifiers in the preliminary stages following a 2-2 draw on aggregate against Namibia.
The second leg match played at the Lobatse Sports complex over the weekend saw Botswana losing by virtue of an away goal. Speaking after the game the Under 17 head coach, Tshepo Mphukuthi said the team played well considering that they never played any international games in their lives.
“Coming from behind and scoring is a plus for them. It is unfortunate that they are now out and cannot continue playing, this was going to give them much needed experience for the future,” Mphukuthi said after the game. The development coach said it was up to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to keep the team and its momentum together so they will be able to grow together.
“They are still youngsters, we need to develop them further as the likes of Joel Mogorosi are now grown. We will need to select the future national team from these youngsters.” Mphukuthi said more international games will make the young players more comfortable on the box. “As you can see we created a lot of chances but we could not score and if you do not convert you cannot win games.”
The coach called on Batswana to continue supporting the development team, adding that they also needed sponsorship in order to get more games and exposure. “You can keep on training but you also need experience on the pitch to identify mistakes and fix them.” Nevertheless, Mphukuthi said the training camp before the game went well.
Meanwhile, Namibia coach Timothy Tjongarero said there were great things happening in Botswana football. Tjongarero showered praises on both the senior and development teams, adding that they have been impressive given their recent performances.
The coach said his team’s away goal was the key to victory. Tjongarero said his team will now prepare for the COSAFA under 17 cup scheduled for Mauritius in August.