Local football administrators have come under fire for undermining local coaches. This follows the growing trend in which local teams now prefer mostly foreign coaches as compared to the local ones. Of late teams in the BTC Premiership have been attracting a number of foreign coaches some drawn from as far as Europe. The lasts team to seek services of a foreign coach is Jwaneng Galaxy having appointed Serbian Zlatko Krmpotic as the head coach after the departure of Mike Sithole. While some people would take this to be as a sign of growth of football locally, others see this as a move to undermine local coaches. Those against this development argue that the coming in of these coaches portray local coaches as incapable. Even though he agrees that there has been growth in local football, former FIFA Development Officer Ashford Mamelodi said the coming in of these coaches is not necessarily associated with growth. Mamelodi said it is only the attitude that football administrators and team owners have in which they undervalue local coaches. He said it is disappointing that teams tend to look for foreign coaches sidelining the locals. “Yes, local football has been growing but the incoming of foreign coaches does not necessarily reflect growth but destruction to the further growth of local coaches. We have great good coaches in Botswana; the problem is that we are not giving them a chance to grow,” said Mamelodi. He asked – if local coaches continue to be undermined when will they grow? According to him, for local coaches to grow they need to be thrown to the deep end to prove themselves.
The former Botswana Football Association (BFA) CEO is also skeptical whether most of the coaches that come to Botswana are way better that the local coaches. He said mostly teams are quick to look outside the country before they could make thorough evaluation of the locals. “Somebody needs to convince me that these foreign coaches are really better than the locals,” he said. Mamelodi is of a view there is talent in Botswana and local coaches match most of these foreigners. He, therefore, feels in future there should be regulations to control the recruitment of foreign coaches. There should be prove that the clubs have not found any one locally and extensively prove that what they are bringing is real quality. Mamelodi called on the teams to also give Batswana coaches a conducive environment similar to that enjoyed by foreign coaches. He said foreign coaches are normally accorded all that they ask for while their local counterparts are denied such benefits. He said for Botswana to start exporting more coaches to the world they need to be developed locally. Football analyst Jimmy George also concurred with Mamelodi, saying the influx of foreign coaches into Botswana is a result of football administrators taking former local players for granted. According to George, the BTC Premiership is one of the leagues in the world where former players are viewed as not worthy to become good coaches, hence administrators look to other countries to get coaches. George reminded the local administrators that it is their responsibility to grow local football which includes coaches.
“This is total disrespect to former players and coaches as our administrators are just looking down on their development. This is a sign of self-hate from our administrators,” said George. He feels sometimes getting foreign coaches shows that the teams have money and are not willing to spend it on developing local coaches but rather on foreigners. He hit hard on the local administrators, saying sometimes they go for foreign coaches because they just want someone who does not know them because of their credentials. “If you look at the credentials of some of the administrators you will see that some have no past experience in playing football and the local coaches surpass their credentials,” he said. Just like Mamelodi, George is of a view that most of the coaches that are brought here are not of high quality with some being rejects from their countries. George commended teams like Mochudi Centre Chiefs, saying the team is trying to groom their former players in coaches. He said giving Pontsho Moloi the assistant coach position is a great move that will help him grow into a future great coach. He pointed out that this should be done by all teams as it is an international norm. “Teams in other countries give their former players a chance. Just look at the likes of Madinda Ndlovu and Rahman Gumbo. They all played for Highlanders and later coached the team. In Europe take an example of Antonio Conte, he played for Juventus and he coached the team, Zidane and Real Madrid, the list is endless,” he explained. The two gentlemen agreed that teams should give local coaches an opportunity to prove their capabilities. They argue if they are not given the chance there is no how they can be good at what they do and Botswana will never export more coaches to the world. Botswana has only exported one coach being David Bright who coached in South Africa.