Connect with us

News

Coach Nkutlwisang dreaming of TOTAL AWCON berth

Botswana women’s senior national team coach, Gaolethoo Nkutlwisang has admitted that it would be a dream for her side to qualify for the coveted Total African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Morocco next year (2022) as they prepare to take on Angola in the first round of the qualifiers.

“I’m living this dream like any other Motswana who wants to qualify to the AWCON. We will work very hard to achieve this dream and qualify for AWCON,” Nkutlwisang said.

The TOTAL AWCON draw was held yesterday (Monday, May 10) at the CAF headquarters in the Egyptian capital of Cairo where countries were drawn according to their zones, which are CECAF, COSAFA, WAFU A, WAFU B, UNIFFAC and UNCAF respectively. 

BFA acting TD Dr Braun and Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang

The COSAFA region led the rest of the zones with 10 nations of the 44 nations participating in the first round of qualifiers. Reacting to the draw against Angola, Gaolethoo described her opponent as a sturdy challenger who needs to be accorded the respect she needs.

“It’s a tough draw and we have started our preparations with a friendly and prolonged camp. Our teams are not active thus we have given our players programs and training schedules to push their fitness levels. We have to start immediately, and our technical team is advancing its preparations,” said Nkutlwisang.

However, she affirmed that they would take the war to Angola knowing fully what is at stake as only four matches stand between Botswana and the historic AWCON qualification berth.

“If we made this dream come true then it will be a big achievement for our country Botswana and it will help local football to advance up the world rankings.

Women team during warm up

“I’m confident of our chances and the spirit of the players, who played well against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana despite the 2-0 friendly loss at the Wits Stadium in Johannesburg last month. We had many chances in that game and this will give us a good motivation and the players know their responsibilities well.”

The winner of the first round of the two-legged clash in June 2021 will then play in the second round in October 2021 against the winner between Zimbabwe/Eswatini to reach the finals in Morocco next year.

Nkutlwisang expressed confidence that her team will shine all the way to the AWCON glory adding that they have seen their opponents’ style of play in their recent friendlies. Her only worry though for her side she said is the intense physicality and strong opponents.

“We have seen them in action against Namibia recently, they are well-built, but they also have their weaknesses. My players know what is at stake. The girls will play the game of their lifetime.”

In an effort to beef up her squad, Nkutlwisang said she will have to call up all her players plying their trade in foreign leagues.

Women team goalkeeping department

The draw results:

First round

M1 – Uganda v Ethiopia

M2 – Kenya v South Sudan

M3 – Eritrea v Burundi

M4 – Djibouti v Rwanda

M5 – Malawi v Zambia

M6 – Tanzania v Namibia

M7 – Zimbabwe v Eswatini

M8 – Angola v Botswana

M9 – Mozambique v South Africa

M10 – Algeria v Sudan

M11 – Egypt v Tunisia

M12 – Equatorial Guinea v DR Congo

M13 – Sao Tome and Principe v Togo

M14 – Congo v Gabon

M15 – Central African Republic v Cameroon  

M16 – Sierra Leone v Gambia

M17 – Liberia v Senegal

M18 – Mali v Guinea

M19 – Guinea Bissau v Mauritania

M20 – Burkina Faso v Benin

M21 – Nigeria v Ghana

M22 – Niger v Cote d’Ivoire

Second Round

Winner M1 v Winner M2

Winner M3 v Winner M4

Winner M5 v Winner M6

Winner M7 v Winner M8

Winner M9 v Winner M10

Winner M11 v Winner M12

Winner M13 v Winner M14

Winner M15 v Winner M16

Winner M17 v Winner M18

Winner M19 v Winner M20

Winner M21 v Winner M22

Aggregate winners qualify to join hosts Morocco in the final tournament.

 

News

National First Divisions undergo Operation Time For Change drill

GABORONE, Botswana – In its relentless quest to professionalize and commercialize local football, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has extended the FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course – Operation Time for Change to National First Division Leagues (NFDL), both in the South and North regions. The five-day rigorous training, which kicked off at Tlotlo Hotel and Conference Centre in Gaborone on Monday (yesterday), is aimed at endowing leaders of football clubs to effectually grow football from grassroots level and administer it with indispensable proficiency.

Furthermore, it is intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting. Officially opening yesterday’s Operation Time for Change for National First Division South, newly appointed Botswana Football League (BFL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochotlhwane implored all clubs to adapt to club licensing regulations, as this will become a standard tool for commercialization of clubs and football in Botswana – a barometer also used by CAF. The course has so far been administered in all the 17 Regional Football Association (RFA) regions where over 600 graduates have been inducted.

With the BFA steadfast to commercialize football, they saw it apt to also train NFDL clubs as they act as a feeder to the elite league. In his remarks Ramochotlhwane said, “the program comes at a time when the BFA 2020 Annual General Assembly granted National Leagues being BFL and NFDL autonomy which paves way for professionalism.  As one of the milestones of becoming professional, Operations Time for Change Program comes at a time when clubs have been struggling to meet CAF Club Licensing requirements. This was mostly due to lack of Management Skills and Stakeholder Management by football administrators.

National First Division Chairman, Sydney Magagane

At the end of the program, the participants will be equipped with the Leadership Skills to enable them to perform their duties and influence the change they want to see,” and further added, “Good Governance drives success and produce positive results. Football is a sport that has been severely battered by poor governance. This comes as results of members failing to account in getting the right people to lead the teams. Planning – This is an area that has been neglected for a very long time. The time has now come for teams to have strategies to drive their day-to-day, week-in and week-out preparations on how they drive football and its activities. Communication- the greatest source of Conflict amongst people is failure to communicate, hence Clear Communication clears barriers of misunderstanding.”

Ramochotlhwane said it is therefore imminent to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. He noted that the time for clubs to change is now hence it is necessary for clubs to do away with societal organizations mentality. “This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Identify the true leaders in your organization, as well as your key stakeholders,” added Ramochotlhwane. For his part, Chairman of National First Division South, Sydney Magagane encouraged all clubs to take the course seriously as it will speed up the professionalization and commercialization aspect of Botswana football in general.

“The course intends to further train more instructors as our journey to commercialization will need more professionally equipped experts to undertake this task. Clubs are what makes the BFA and therefore starting to commercialize all clubs will bolster swift transition into the mother body,” said Magagane. The course started yesterday, Monday until Friday, June 14 – 18 for the NFDS before moving to Francistown for the NFDN on 21 – 25th June 2021.

Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting

Continue Reading

Trending