With seven local players currently plying their trade in the fancied South African PSL, the Zebras coach, Major David Bright believes their dream of qualifying for 2019 African Cup of Nations is becoming even more realistic.
In the current transfer window, four players were enlisted into the cash-rich ABSA premiership in South Africa. This means veteran Zebras coach Major David Bright will be the inconspicuous winner as there will be growth in his national team. The anticipation is that there will be better flair, nifty levels of understanding between players, improved techniques and bright levels of football brains adopted from the PSL.
In an exclusive interview with BG Sport, Bright said the chances of the Zebras playing in the continental showpiece are now vastly improved. “It’s a good thing that most of our players are playing in the PSL, they will gain experience and get exposure in the big league. That on its own means they will add value into our national team so we are aiming to qualify for Afcon,” the national team coach said.
“We are left with five games in our group and we stand a better chance to proceed to the tournament, either as group winners or runners up.” Further explaining the current state of the national team Bright said, ‘When we first qualified for the biennial tournament we had a number of players playing their trade in South Africa, the likes of Modiri Marumo, Phenyo Mongala, Diphetogo Selolwane and Boitumelo Mafoko amongst others so we are on the right track.”
In addition Bright said his idea has always been to market these players in South Africa prior to these years COSAFA Castle Cup hosted by South Africa, with his plan having been well implemented now focus shifts to qualifying.
“My hope is that all these players get enough game time especially Mamelodi Sundown’s skipper Mogakolodi Ngele who has the prospects of becoming the national team captain,” Bright said. “Not all of them will get a chance to play every week, I don’t see Kgamanyane playing; his game is still growing and this move was a little premature for him, he needed to stay at least another season here.
As for Tsotso his situation is complex, he told me he is still with Mamelodi Sundowns, it's going to be a lot difficult if he is not playing but I am not saying I will not consider him, I will keep a close eye on him.” Recently Lesenya Ramoraka made his debut against Orlando Pirates and displayed fairly well against seasoned PSL players.
“He fared well for a debutant, he made a mistake that anybody can make, looking at how he played I can say he will grow with every game and he will be a force to reckon with in that position.” Botswana will play away to Burkina Faso on September 5th, while the return leg will be played in Botswana on the 9th of the same month. Botswana is currently third on the group having played and lost their first game against Mauritania 1-0 last year at Francistown Sports Complex.