Butler tells all

Dikarabo Ramadubu
Friday, 17 November 2017

IF former Zebras headcoach, Peter James  Butler- the Englisman who unceremoeously dumped the senior national team following  a lucrative job offer in the neighbouring South Africa- had his way, then he would come back to Lekidi as the new Technical Director.

“To be honest I wanted the TD job, but the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has  refused,” said the outspoken Butler in an  exclusive  interview this week.

As  things  stand, Butler prefers to coach in Africa more than any other continent. The  UK native  has been the senior national team coach for  over two years  until  his depature earlier this year. The  polarising  coach  rejected a contract extension  with  the BFA  ealier this  year and  crossed  over  to  South Africa where he was offered a job by the Rustenburg based premier league side, Platinum Stars. Neverthelss, Butler’s new gig  was  brief,  he was sent packing after  losing his first two league matches in what the management termed as poor relationship between him and the players.But by hook or crook, Butler  wanted to come back to finish off what he believed he started at Lekidi, but  this  did  not  come to fruition. Speaking to BG Sport  this  past Wednesday  from  his native ,United Kingdom Butler  confirmed  that  he was  offered the  job. The  former Zebras  coach was quick to respond. “I would have love to finish off what I started, but  the BFA said they have no funds to pay for my salary”.

 However, numerous  factors came into play on why he has not been offered the job. Key amongst them  was delay in signing a contract with him as BFA had to sort out for  funding before it could commit  to such an expensive contract .

Allegations of the maverick coach coming back to Botswana started swirling  fast after he was seen with the BFA president, Mclean Letshwiti in Gaborone last month. On Wednesday morning, Butler confirmed to BG Sport  that he met with him (Letshwiti). "He declared his interest, and I also declared my interests." “Originally I had offers somewhere, but I turned them down because, I wanted to make a decision if I wish to stay in Africa or go to Asia. I opted to stay in Africa, but it took longer than I had anticipated due to lack of funding from the BFA part,” Butler said.

“I wanted to finish off what I started because as many are aware, I put together a features programme for the Under 20s. It was a self funding. First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) showed interest and it was going to be a P1.2m project per annum at no costs to the BFA,”he said. “I brought together 35 U 20 teams and developed an U20 league and it was rolling on lovely. But  the project was ditched as soon as I left. Today they are saying the U 20 will not compete in COSAFA tournament. “I was very upset; the move crashes the hopes and dreams of all those youngsters I identified from as far as Kasane, Maun, and Francistown etc.”   Butler who is well known for  confrontational  behavior  and wild celebration when his team scores continue  took  a swipe at  the BFA saying, “The senior national team is very not pleasing. Its selection saddens me .It hurts to see all the old players being drafted in the team at the expense of young and talented players’’.Butler’s best result was reaching the finals of COSAFA senior challenge cup in Namibia and winning a bronze after losing 3-2 through controversial refereeing by  a Zambia referee last year. In that team he had a mixture of the old and young

 For  his  part , BFA president MacLean Letshwiti confirmed having had a meeting with Butler. I had interest in him to take over our development programmes because I believe he is a good development coach, But unfortunately we could not get him because of funding.

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