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Coach Nkutlwisang draws positives after loss to Banyana Banyana

Botswana women’s senior national team coach, Gaolethoo Nkutlwisang said the 2-0 friendly loss to South Africa’s Banyana Banyana this afternoon at the Wits Stadium in Johannesburg played an important role in their preparations for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers that start in June 2021.
 
Nkutlwisang also praised her players for putting up a gallant fight against Banyana Banyana, adding that this shows a progressive road to full fitness. The team played its first competitive game after a four-month hiatus of no football action but strenuously applied themselves against a bloodthirsty and dynamic, Banyana Banyana.
 
“In the first half we were alert of all the situations, we built from the back, shared good possession – this is good for confidence. We added new players to acclimatise to competition. In the second half, we had a concentration lapse and we got punished because when you give room to players like Thembi Kgatlana, they will punish you. She is a brilliant player. As the match progressed, I could see that my players were getting tired, our fitness level is not yet at par. We must give credit to Banyana Banyana for giving us such a competitive match, and we go home with assignment to rectify all our mistakes before we start the African qualifiers,” said Nkutlwisang on the touchline.
 
Meanwhile, Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said the friendly match came at the right time as it gave her players all the much-needed opportunities to test themselves. Furthermore, Eliis said she was happy to have her foreign-based players who have been out of action for a year at national team level.
 
“The foreign players really lifted the team; their experience was second to none. The dominating teams in Africa have more players in the European leagues. They were professional and executed themselves well. Although the league is about to start, it’s going to be tough to get to fitness, but we will cross the bridge when we get there,” said Ellis.

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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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