In a rather surprising turn of events this week Zebras caretaker coach Mogomotsi Teenage ‘Mpote’ appointed Joel ‘Juluka’ Mogorosi as team captain for the Saturday 2019 Afcon qualifier against Angola.
Mpote who recently caused an uproar among football supporters after leaving the on-form veteran striker out when he announced the new Zebras squad. However, the national team's coach seems to have made a U turn and called the Township Rollers forward to the squad and awarded him the captain’s arm band. Mogorosi who has served the Zebras for the better part of the decade is currently the top goal scorer with 15 goals in the BTC Premiership. The decision by Mpote was enough to leave many supporters and other stakeholders dumbfounded and questioning the coach’s judgement.
During a recent press conference, Mpote made it clear that he preferred younger players in the Zebras line up. Mpote went on to explain why ageing Mogorosi is not in the squad despite his stellar form. In return, Mogorosi remains diplomatic and cordial when responding to the decision to leave him out of the Zebras squad. “It is up to the coach whether he needs me or not. I respect any coach’s decision. Whatever Mpote did I am happy with it, I am not going to cry over this. He has his reason,” Mogorosi said in a recent interview.
Meanwhile, Mogorosi is currently preparing for the Saturday game alongside his team mates in Francistown. In a brief interview this week, Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson Tumo Mpatane confirmed that Mogorosi is the team captain for the Saturday encounter. However, Mpatane said appointing Mogorosi is purely a technical decision which cannot be questioned. Furthermore, Mpatane said there is a lot of unity among players in the team.
“The team consists of players who are familiar with one another having played together in the under 17 and Under 23 national teams,” Mpatane said. The BFA mouthpiece said Mogorosi is already hard at work and guiding the younger players. After the training session this afternoon Joel encouraged the younger players to move on from their previous teams and concentrate on being Zebras players. Mpatane said it was their hope for supporters to buy tickets and come to the stadium in good numbers. The Zebras have since been eliminated from the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.