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BFA coaches in tug of war over players

Publishing Date : 18 May, 2015


National team coach Peter Butler

National team coach Peter Butler and his assistant Pio Paul are battling an intense dilemma regarding players as they both drill their respective squads for upcoming competitions, WeekendSport has learnt.

The tussle to pick the same players comes as a result of the assignments both coaches are expected to undertake as the struggle to turn around the country football‘s fortunes gathers pace. Butler, who reports indicate is under intense pressure to take the senior national team to the finals of this year’s Council of Southern African Football Associations ( COSAFA), is tussling with Paul for the same players to be in their squads. Paul doubles as the assistant coach of the senior national team and also as head coach of the National Under 23 team.  

Butler has reportedly ranted on several occasions blaming Paul for holding on to the players he feels are of the national team category. Reports purport that he feels he single-handedly scouted some of the players and gave them a chance when no one was willing to field them.

On the other hand, Paul and his supporters believe that a young player should be allowed to play at the appropriate structure before they can be elevated to the senior positions. Those in his corner are of the view that the under 23 players should be given time to play the qualifiers while Butler should continue searching for other replacements. Information reaching this publication suggests that the Briton has been rubbed the wrong way by the status quo, as he believes he has a duty to develop players.

While both coaches were not within reach to clarify the standing impasse, Butler posted on his twitter page saying, “development of players never actually ends.”

It has been observed that both coaches hold unbridled adoration for Sankoyo Bush Bucks striker Omaatla Kebatho. The young lad is a remarkable talent and has been instrumental in Paul’s team that has so far sent Kenya to the cleaners.  But Kebatho could also be the key to Butler’s team striking talent. The young players could easily replace the ageing Jerome Ramatlhakwane. The Sankoyo goal poacher was a marvel to watch in his last game for the national team.

Another player whose talent threatens to divide both coaches is BDF XI winger Kabelo Seakanyeng. He has impressed both coaches with his continued deft runs inside the box coupled with pin point crosses, like a well groomed winger who could eventually replace Joel Mogorosi whose form has taken a nose dive lately. Gaborone United youngster, Mpho Kgaswane also has both coaches scrambling for him. The gifted midfielder’s rise to the peak was accelerated by the manner in which he aided Moyagoleele to win the prestigious Top 8 tournament.

The technical director of the association, Benny Kgomele claimed to be in the dark regarding the issue, “I do not know anything about coaches fighting for same players.”



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