Radipotsane to lead Botswana at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) have confirmed that Oris Radipotsane will lead the side at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup after head coach Peter Butler parted ways with the team.

The BFA say they have released Englishman Butler from his contract by mutual consent after a fruitful meeting between the parties on Wednesday.

“We are grateful to Peter for his service and time, we wish him well in his future endeavours,” the BFA said in a statement.

Butler led Botswana to the semifinals of the COSAFA Castle Cup in 2015, when they knocked out hosts South Africa in the quarterfinals, and then went one better with a final appearance last year in Namibia.

This time though they came unstock against the South Africans, losing 3-2 in a thrilling decider in Windhoek.

Despite that fine run, Butler never actually won a match in the COSAFA Castle Cup, with his five matches ending in three draws and two defeats.   He has laid a platform though of a side that is very difficult to beat and a young team on the rise.

Radipotsane will hope to take that on at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup that will be staged in South Africa’s North West Province from June 25-July 9.

The Zebras begin their campaign this year in the quarterfinals against Zambia at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on July 1 (kick-off 15h00).

It is a tough opening for the team against one of the traditional heavyweights of the Southern African region.   Botswana have only ever faced Zambia twice before in the COSAFA Castle Cup competition, and not at all for 11 years.

The first meeting in Lusaka in 2000 ended in a 3-0 defeat, while they clashed again at the same venue in 2006, with the Zambians that time winning 1-0.

Botswana have a rich history in the COSAFA Castle Cup, but have only won six of their 33 matches outright since they competed in 1997.

Their last win came in 2013 when they defeated East African guest nation Kenya 2-1 with Lemponye Tshireletso and Jerome Ramatlhakwane on the scoresheet.