Botswana: Women Team Prepares for Cosafa

Gaborone — The senior and junior women national football teams reported for camp to hone their skills ahead of the COSAFA championships and Slovakia preparatory encounters.

Given that the senior national team is headed for Slovakia from August 4-16, the junior teams will represent the country at the upcoming COSAFA games billed for Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from July 31-August 11.

The Under 17 will represent the country in the Under 20 girls while the Under 20 will stand in for the senior team. The two teams will battle it out with their regional counterparts in their respective categories.

The Under 20 girls are pitted against Zambia, Tanzania and eSwatini in Group B while their senior counterparts will face Zambia, Namibia and Mauritius, also in Group B on the same dates.

The senior team's interim coach Jacqueline Gaboinelwe said the ongoing preparations were going as planned since commencing camp on Saturday.

Although cognizant of the fact that Botswana has never the reached semi-finals stage before, Gaboinelwe said she was optimistic despite using a junior side.

"The team is made up of young players Under 20 who were playing at the Region 5 Youth Games and managed to win silver, however, I have beefed my squad with other senior team players to guide them," she said.

Furthermore, she said their objective for COSAFA championship was to leave an indelible mark, adding that they would fight until the end to ensure that they bring silverware back home.

"I told them that since the inaugural tournament in 2002, we have never brought anything home, and the time is now. It's now or never for us, we respect our opponents but we are not going to give them respect in the field of play," she said.

Under 20 coach, Tapaphiwa Gaebolae said her girls were equally ready for the COSAFA championships.

She said since COSAFA was a development side, she would be using the Under 17 to give them exposer.

"I am also happy that Botswana Football Association has organised an international friendly with eSwatini. We will use the game to try a few combinations, and it will also give the girls a feel of what to expect at the competition," she said.

The Port Elizabeth team will depart on July 28 and the Botswana senior women national team is made up of: Goalkeepers, Tebogo Lesego, Bame Mokime and Lesego Moeng. Defenders are Kaone Kgokong, Marriam Ramotserere, Tlamelo Rametlae, Kgomotso Molefhe, Gloria Pilane, Basego Sembuwa, Theo Keselebale and Godiraone Gonae.

Midfielders are Esalenna Galekutle, Lone Gaofetoge, Keitumetse Dithebe, Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse, Letso Botlhale, Kefilwe Lentswi and Thando Mokgabo while the strikers are Mitchelle Abueng and Tshegofatso Mosotho.

Source : BOPA

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