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Under-23 coach dilemma

Publishing Date : 03 October, 2018


Botswana Football Association (BFA) is battling an intense dilemma ahead of the appointment of the national Under-23 development coach, who will also deputise Major David Bright at the senior squad.

Having narrowed the names of candidates for the post to just two, the football association, reports say, is caught between a hard place and a rock in appointing either Keitumetse Pio Paul who is currently leading newly promoted Notwane Sporting Club or choosing Mogomotsi Mpote- a former gaffer at Township Rollers.

Although the association had long expressed its desire and interest in Paul particularly that the local coach has already held the post before, circumstances have changed inadvertently, much to the disappointment and despair of some National Executive Committee members. 

Paul has a legal battle against BFA but it is said the coach is willing to let sleeping dogs lie and accept the Zebras challenge. As things stand, information leaked to WeekendSport indicates that the adjudicators tasked with interviewing the coaches are in opposing sides, and are thus split between Paul and Mpote. Elsewhere information is to effect that Mpote will be given priority over Paul, whom his unfair dismissal case against the association is still being dealt with.

While it is reported that there is little that separates the two coaches, the selection of Notwane coach is likely to be followed by backlash predominantly from high authorities given that Paul is reported to be more demanding than Mpote.  However, the former Sharps Shooting Stars coach is believed to have a strong bargaining power in view of the fact that he has held the post before and that his local football knowledge is more superior to that of his competitor.

Paul’s football qualification is said to be another factor to be considered with sources saying he is slightly ahead of Mpote in this regard. However, NEC members who talked to this publication indicated that choosing between the two mentors would not be a headache since the track records of the duo are a matter of public knowledge.

The members are quick to mention other factors will be instrumental when a final choice is made.  They claim that both coaches are also great motivators of players and will go to an extent of fighting for their welfare. This alone, is said to be a character and bravery that the president of the association very much adores.

Mpote has also drilled Township Rollers and won the league in 2016-17 when former coach Mark Harrison dumped them. He is now with Orapa United, assisting Bongani Mafu. But amongst all these, it is said the profile of Paul is interesting, with reports mentioning that some are eager to convince the sometimes stubborn NEC about Paul to further exemplify the massive influence he will have for Botswana football.

Nobody is however easily drawn into commenting about this issue is regarded to be ‘sensitive and very important.’ But word from the NEC is that “the issue of the under 23 national team coach will be done and dusted before the year ends.”



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