The champions of Stanbic Bank Super 5s League, Team Letshego, will once again represent the country at the coming Football 5-aside World Cup (F5WC) in China from 28-29 May 2017. The team is expected to leave for China on the 24th May 2017. This is the second time that the team will be representing Botswana at the F5WC following its participation in 2016. Team Letshego Captain Mmoloki Njamela said this year they are going out there to win the cup. In 2016 Team Letshego – made up of Letshego Holdings staff – was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the competition in their maiden appearance. The team had qualified top of their group after winning all games against Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Portugal. Even though the team arrived in Thailand in 2016 as underdogs and little known, their group stage wins, according to Njamela, got the team recognition. Njamela said after losing in the quarterfinals they came back home to train hard so that they can qualify and go to win the cup. “We are currently perfecting out team as we train hard every day and make sure that we have a lot of game time in preparation for the tournament,” he said. Njamela said the team trains for an hour every week day and for two hours on weekends.
The F5WC is the world’s largest 5-aside football tournament for amateur players. The competition was founded in 2014 and brings together 32 teams to battle it for the honours. Though competition is tough Njamela is confident that their team will do better than it did in its maiden appearance. “We have since learnt that it is not all about scoring goals but playing with a strategy. Now we are playing with a pattern whenever going forward and defending,” said Njamela. Team Letshego qualified for this stage after becoming the champions of the Stanbic Bank Super 5s League. The fought out with over 30 other teams for this slot. Asked what saw them emerging victorious Njamela said is it all about determination, hard work and discipline. He said since they have resolved to play using a unique strategy and shape they have been able to stay formidable for some time against some teams. He said their first participation at the F5WC in Thailand was an eye-opener for them and will now use that experience to do much better than the first time. However, he said, this will not only benefit them as they are also trying to share their experiences with some teams locally. Njamela said he is optimistic that they will be challenging successfully for the championships this year. He said they have put together a very strong team of strong players. The team is made up seven players.