Coach Peter Butler’s highly criticised developmental stance for the Zebras has received the backing of Botswana Football Association Chief Executive Officer Kitso Kemoeng. Even though Kemoeng said development is not Butler’s main mandate he pointed out that the Englishman does not have any choice but to develop new players.
Butler has for some time came under the hammer from local football lovers for his continued obsession for development. They argued that he was hired to produce results, not development. However, Kemoeng defended the coach saying he was left with no choice since most of the players he found when he took over the team were already over the hill. The coach has also in the past received the backing of BFA president Tebogo Sebego.
Kemoeng explained that when Butler took over there were no readily available players for the senior national team as most of them had reached their peak. “The coach then had to look down the next level and still not found anything. He then had to move to searching for young players and grooming them for the national team,” said Kemoeng. This brings to the fore the dysfunctional developmental structures that the country has.
Lack of development structures has been a greatest concern in the history of Botswana and Butler has called for the introduction of a national U-20 league. “I have also made a proposal to Botswana Premier League (BPL) encourage teams to have at least 4 U-23 players in the match day squads with 2 of them in the pitch,” said Butler. The coach has previously indicated that there are a lot of talented young players in Botswana but are not given game time.
From the word go when he started his job, Butler announced that he will work mostly with young players to give them a chance to develop into future stars for the nation. He started introducing unknown names to his squad to the disapproval of many who wanted quick results. This attracted continuous criticism to him but never did he budge.
His method saw a lot of regular players who played during his predecessors’ time left out and replaced by young and energetic ones. The coach seems to be confident that what he is doing is the right way out to help improve the status of football in the country. According to Butler even though this does not bring results immediately it will work in the long term. “What I am doing I do for the future benefit and it will bring results,” this is what Butler keeps saying.
For some time since Butler took over the Zebras as coach the team has been not doing very well. However, this is slowly beginning to change as the local lads are starting to show some signs of urgency when in the pitch. It looks like Butler‘s plan is slowly falling into place. The team has recently pulled off 2 important wins over Burkina Faso and Eritrea.
With the promising results from butler and his team the criticism has since subsided. Kemoeng believe that what Butler is doing a great job that will improve the team. “He continues to dig up for new players and this is in the best interest of the nation,” he said. He is of a view that the Zebras is slowly improving.
This is one of the 11 point agenda that Kemoeng sworn to address as soon as he started work as BFA CEO. However he was very quick to say he does claim credit for the current improvements as they are a result of efforts put even before he came into office. Kemoeng pointed out that the he believe the Zebras will continue to do well in future.