Botswana seek brighter days at CAF African Schools Football Championship

Botswana will hope for a better outcome when they play at the CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023 from December 14-16, having had a testing time on debut last year.

The country was represented by Thamaga JSS in the Boys’ category and Mothamo JSS in the Girls’, but both finished bottom of their respective pools in the Under-15 competition and failed to win a single game between them.

A tweak to the tournament regulations this time round allows countries to enter teams made up of the best players from the national phase of the qualifiers, and that is exactly what Botswana will do.

It should add a layer of strength and competitiveness to their sides, though there will be no representatives from the teams that competed in Lilongwe last time round to bring a level of experience.

The Botswana Football Association see this year’s tournament in Harare as being key to creating a player pathway to their junior Under-17 teams.

“The competition exposes young players to play against their foreign counter-parts and this is key to their future football development,” a spokesperson said. “Players start to believe they can achieve at an early developmental stage, hence have the motivation to continue to develop their game.”

It has not been an easy selection process given the logistics of putting a squad together including players from all over the country.

“The teams are made up of players from various schools in different areas of the country,” says the BFA. “Botswana in a country with different sporting challenges including infrastructure and vast distances between its villages/towns affecting travelling, etc.

“All of these depend on which part of the country the schools are located. Those schools in the Southeastern part of the country have an advantage over those in the Western and Northeastern areas.”

The draw for the 10-team CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will be made in Harare ahead of the tournament.