The Zebras will be expected to maintain the winning spirit set by local netball team alive when they host Bafana Bafana at the Francistown Sports Complex.
The tournament is on its fifth season and the nation is hopeful the local boys will keep the fire burning. The newly appointed national team coach Major David Bright will this weekend lead Zebras against its rivals in the COSAFA region. The newly appointed coach pleaded for support from football loving community as he is till building a team.
The first CHAN competition was staged in Ivory Coast in 2009 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo won the inaugural competition. The teams were increased to 16 at the second tournament held in Sudan in 2011, which was won by Tunisia. The Zebras followers will be hopeful the local lads will continue to impress at the second city after stumbling over Mauritania in an Afcon qualifier.
The two teams played 10 times with Bafana dominating the statics. Zebras lost 6 of the 10 encounters and 4 draws since 1993 when South Africa was readmitted to FIFA membership.
The coach recalled Thabo Motang to his technical team and they called four goal minders for their first camp. The Mascom top 8 winning goalkeeper Anthony Gouws of Jwaneng Galaxy finally received a much deserved call up to the team. Michael James from the rookies Black Forest also impressed the coaches. Gaborone United goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko returned to the squad after battling with injury a few years ago.
Bright and Mogwadi rewarded their faithful servants with national team call up. The zebras ignored the hardship Police XI endured to sustain their BPL status, calling four players in Leririma, Senwelo, Gadibolae and Moyo.
The back line will be marshalled by three Rollers players –Mosha Gaolaolwe, the 2016/17 player of the season nominee Simisane Mathumo and Bogosi Kaekwe, Thabo Leinanyane of Galaxy, Kaelo Kgaswane from Security Systems, Onkabetse Seforo of BDF XI and Letsweletse Leririma.
The midfielders are Police XI stars Letlhogonolo Senwelo and the hardworking Tapiwa Gadibolae, Richard Legwaila -BDF XI, Lemogang Maswena -Orapa United, the 2016/17 player of the season Lemponye Tshireletso has also been rewarded with captain’s arm band, Thero Setsile -Jwaneng Galaxy.
Bright brought a youngster Godiraone Modingwane from his former club Morupule Wanderers, Tumelo Mazebedi -Security Systems, Thatayaone Kgamanyane -Black Forest.
The attackers are Thabang Sesinyi -Jwaneng Galaxy, the GU striking partnership of Tumisang Orebonye and Kabelo Seakanyeng, the ever hustling Hendrick Moyo from Police XI.