Gaborone — Head coach for the under 20 Zebras national team Pio Paul says his side is ready to give their opponents a run for their money during the COSAFA championship tournament slated for Zambia from December 4-14.
Speaking during the official send-off and announcement of the 25man team on November 26 at Gaborone, Coach Paul said his decision to carry a 25 man development team to the tournament was to give the boys exposure.
He said his team was ready to play in the tournament where they have been drafted into group A with Malawi, Comoros and Zambia and will face the host country Zambia for their first match.
He said the team had worked hard since they went into camp on the 18th of this month noting that they had played preparatory games with local teams to determine their readiness for the games.
According to the coach, they had lost in their first preparatory game and drew a nil on their second game.
He said while they had lost, this was no set back since he was continually growing and monitoring the under 20 squad in order to give them high chances of success in their development and grow them for the senior national team.
Coach Paul further noted that the development team would be critical to growing the national talent in the country, noting the growth of local talent such as Kabelo Seakanyeng and Mothusi Cooper as prime products of the National team.
"Some of the boys on this squad play for first division teams but they are not utilized and this limits their football development," he said.
The unveiled team comprises of local boys playing locally and internationally who are aged between 16 and 17 and includes a 7 man Technical team with Innocent Ranku as the Assistant Coach.
The Coach will pick his goal minders from a provisional squad comprising of Cedrick Ramojela (Molepolole City Stars FC), Lesang Senne (Lesirane FC) and Jovan Nikolic (Club Despotivo FC, Portugal).
On the defense, the coach has Tlamelo Kgolagano, Botsile Sakana, Thuto Moloi, Phazha Chose, Tebogo Kopelang, Leruo Ratala and Mbaakanyi Makafiri to choose from.
Mid fielders will be selected from a group entailing Kaone Kgolagano, Botlhe Pansiri, Tefo Molefe, Kgotlaetsile Gopolang, Brendon Kenosi, Kabo Matshula, Kutlo Thobega, Aobakwe Makhalani, Tshepho Keselebale, Larona Modisaemang, Theo Will Shadikong and Anderson Makalo Ntwana,
Moreover, Godfrey Nonko Tauyatswala, Tawana Mbakile, Doctor David will be the coach's pick of strikers.
The team was also presented with branded tracksuits from their sponsor First National Bank of Botswana.
They will play a preparatory match against Matebejane FC on Tuesday and while they are expected to leave for Zambia November 1.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>