Former Botswana Under 23 coach Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare has bounced back to the national team fold, this time as an assistant coach.
In the absence of Adel Amrouche, who will not extend his stay when his contract expires next month, the Botswana Football Association [BFA] has elevated Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgwengwenyane to lead the team.
His first assignment will be the Cosafa Cup tournament which runs from July 6-18 in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Nare has been drafted in to assist the BDF XI mentor. His last international assignment was the Olympic qualifiers with the young Zebras that were knocked out by Egypt in 2011.
“My appointment came as a surprise because I wasn’t expecting it. But it’s an absolute joy to serve my country and I’m looking forward to the tournament.
“Of course, I havent been to the Cosafa tournament before, but luckily my head coach [Kgwengwenyane] has been there and understands the terrain.
“While I look to add value to the technical team, I also think it will be a valuable learning experience for me and the young boys we have in the team,” Nare told FARPost.
Kgwengwenyane is confident the Morupule Wanderers mentor is the right man to assist him. “Chicco Nare was on top of the list because I know what he is capable of and I’m very happy he accepted my request,” he said.
He said the mood in camp was encouraging after the initial turmoil and abrupt departure of Amrouche. “We believe that the only way to make an improvement is to win the Cosafa Cup. I love the mood and spirit in our camp,” he added.
The Zebras have been placed in the same Group as hosts South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini for the competition.
SuperSport United defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe will captain the Zebras side that has a number of familiar faces including former Chippa United winger Kabelo Seakanyeng, midfielder Segolame Boy and playmaker Mothusi Cooper.
Despite Botswana’s inactivity for over 16 months, Ditlhokwe is upbeat the Zebras can cause an upset at the tournament.
The Zebras were finalists in the previous edition of the tournament in 2019, but lost 1-0 to Zambia in the decider. They also reached the final in 2016 but went down 3-2 to South Africa and have yet to lift the regional championship.
They open their campaign this year against South Africa on July 6, before a meeting with Lesotho three days later. They take on Eswatini in their final pool match on July 13.
Botswana provisional Cosafa Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Ezekiel Morake, Lesenya Malepela and Keeagile Kgosipula
Defenders: Goitseone Legopelo, Thabo Leinanyane, Mothusi Johnson, Kitso Mangolo, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Thato Kebue, Mosha Gaolaolwe and Fortunate Thulare
Midfielders: Mothusi Cooper, Godiraone Modingwane, Gape Gagoangwe, Kutlwelo Mpolokang, Gape Mohutsiwa, Segolame Boy and Thatayaone Kgamanyane
Strikers: Mpho Kgomo, Tshepo Malgas, Thero Setsile, Kago Monyake, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Elias Mbatshi, Tumisang Orebonye and Godfrey Tauyatswala
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By Mthokozisi Dube