Young Zebras coach names provisional squad

Botswana coach Keitumetse Paul has named his provisional squad for 2019 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship to be held in Lusaka, Zambia from December 4-14.    Botswana have battled in this competition through the years and Paul says he hopes they will proceed to the knockout stages this time round.

The squad will be trimmed to 20 final boys in their last camp before departing to Zambia.

Former national team player Paul also said he is comfortable with any team that they will be drawn against. The boys will report for their full training camp on November 14, with the draw in Lusaka set for the following day.

Paul added they will also be using this tournament as preparations for FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifiers and future tournaments, hence the youngest in his team are 17 years of age. Foreign-based players will join the camp a week after.

The Young Zebras make a return to the COSAFA Under-20 Championships and will seek a first ever trip to the final.   Botswana’s best finishes in this competition came in 2009 and 2011 when they managed third place.

First they beat Madagascar 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the bronze-medal play-off in 2009. The Young Zebras had made it through their pool but lost 3-0 to South Africa in the semifinals.

They then hosted in 2011 and this time lost to Zambia in the semifinals before beating Malawi to bronze.

Their last appearance came in 2018 when the side earned four points in their three pool games but failed to advance to the knockout stages.

Botswana preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Cedrick Ramojela, Maikano Tladinyane, Lesang Senne

Defenders: Tlamelo Kolagano, Botsile Sakana, Thuto Moloi, Phadza Chose, Tebogo Kopelang, Larona Modisaemang, Leruo Ratala

Midfielders: Thabang Saakane, Kaone Kolagano, Tshephang Kelebogile, Botlhe Pansiri, Mmoloki Shato, Calvin Kolagano, Katlo Gontse, Tefo Molefe, Aobakwe Makhalani, Kabo Matshula

Strikers: Milidzi Muzila, Lefika Koma, Kaone Bogosi, Godfrey Tauyatswala, Maikano Mbakile, Zubair Jalal

By Gaone Pearl Kerileng