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U-20 Men’s National Team coach, Paul benchmarking at Orlando Pirates FC

In a bid to enhance bilateral football relations between Botswana and South Africa, the U20 Men’s National Team head coach, Keitumetse Pio Paul is in Johannesburg, RSA at the Orlando Pirates FC (OPFC) development side where he is monitoring the progress of 17-year-old striker, Lizo Skweyiya among other things. 

The weeklong assessment will see Paul meeting with his counterparts from Pirates’ development sides amongst them Head of Development, Mandla Qhogi as well as the Under-21 coaches, Simon Marange and Yester Khomane, respectively.

One of his coaches at OPFC Marange has rated Skweyiya’s technical ability and physic higher.

“Skweyiya possesses some really good technical ability, can get past players and is able to finish. He still needs to improve on decision making and game insight. He is comfortable going either direction. He’s very direct. He might grow into a good forward, playing from either the sides or centrally. He also has exceptionally good pace and strength to go with his technical ability,” said Marange.

Paul has described his stay in RSA as a fact-finding mission, his quest being mainly to understand the dynamics which Orlando Pirates used during this COVID-19 period to train young players. 

The coach noted that he also had talks with other academies such as Africa Stars of Farouk Khan – a renowned RSA development coach.

Coach Paul and striker Lizo

“I am here to see how they coped with the COVID-19 restrictions and what the club has implemented to save their players. Notably, it is to build relations with the development coaches of Orlando Pirates with the possibility of playing friendly matches regularly against each other. 

This would be an opportunity for our players to be seen by South African clubs as well. The trip also accorded me an opportunity to look at players from Botswana who play for the RSA clubs and encourage them to understand the opportunity that comes with playing for our national teams. It is important for the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to identify all its foreign-based players as this will give national team selectors a wider pool to choose from,” said Paul.

Skweyiya was previously coached by Jozi Talent under the tutelage of Roman Schroder. Schroder runs his own development coaching academy. He is also the Technical Director for Panorama FC and a graduate of the DFI academy coaching staff.

Paul’s U20 Men’s National Team will go on camp this Friday (May14th) as they start preparations for the 2021 COSAFA Championships. The coach highlighted that the upcoming camp will only feature locally based players while internationally based players are only expected in camp later in the year. Paul is expected back home this Sunday.

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BFA GRANTS AMROUCHE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

GABORONE, Botswana – Following the request by Senior National Team Coach, Adel Amrouche for leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) wishes to inform the public that he has been granted the leave with immediate effect.

Since the COSAFA tournament is the last competitive tournament for the Zebras in the immediate future, the BFA amicably resolved to release Amrouche. The affairs of the National team in preparation for the tournament, set to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa from 7-18 July 2021 shall be handed over to Letang Kgengwenyane.

“The BFA understands and supports Mr. Amrouche’s situation and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours,” said BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor.

Amrouche took over as the Zebras head coach in August 2019 on a two-year deal. After weeks of engaging with the coach over his future, an agreement was reached not to extend his contract.

Adel Amrouche

“Amrouche has been Zebras head coach since August 2019, and his leadership during that time was important to our successful development and international exposure of our players,” added Taylor.

“We appreciate all that Amrouche has done to build a disciplined team. He has always had a thorough understanding of what it takes to be a successful team and has done his best to mentor his players accordingly,” concluded Taylor.

Amrouche has since expressed gratitude towards the BFA for the opportunity.
“I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to lead the Zebras over the last two years. I leave having picked up quite a number of valuable lessons that will be necessary in the journey ahead. I wish the Zebras success in future competitions,” Amrouche said in statement recently.

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