The on-form Gaborone United (GU) midfielder Mpho Kgaswane is relishing the spotlight. Fresh from playing a central role in his team’s P1m win in the Mascom Top 8 final, he is caught between two national teams.
At 21, he qualifies for the Under-23s and has been part of the team that qualified for the next stage of the CAF U-23 Championship qualifiers. Already he has won a cap for the senior national team. He finds himself now included in both the Zebras and U-23 teams – one for COSAFA Cup and the other for the qualifiers.
This more than demonstrates the youngster’s awesome talent and dependability. Left to him, the decision as to which side to favour could have torn him apart. His handlers have stepped to make life easier, at least for now. “I am not going to play the under 23 Zambia game, both parties have deliberated and they have finalised that I go to the senior national team,” he confirmed.
Though strikers score goals, many of the game’s craftsmen reside in the midfield, and Kgaswane has proven that to be true. An excellent dribbler, he is very skilled at linking midfield and attack underlined by his immaculate passing. His skill has established him as one of the precious possessions at GU and the national team.
His versatility is undeniable since he is also a goal threat. This was also shown during their clash with the league winners Mochudi Centre Chiefs this week where he scored the first goal. He set the scene alight with his impressive ball distribution skills.
He has proven to be one of Botswana’s emerging prospects. He started playing football at the age of seven when he started school. He played for the development team May Blazers while at primary school. He then went to play for Tourism, a lower division side that he helped get promotion and it was thereafter that Uniao Flamingo Santos recruited him. He played for Santos for four and half years before he joined GU this January. Kgaswane has played for all development national teams – U-15s, U-17s, U-20 and now the U-23s and senior national team. Since he joined GU in the second leg of the season he has never missed any game.
In the first leg when Botswana was playing with Kenya in the under 23 qualifiers he had a very good combination with Kabelo Phiri, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Onkabetse Makgantai and Omaatla Kebatho. He refers to this as the best men that he loves playing with. At his club he said that the combination with Ofentse Nato, Ntesang Simanyana, Benson Shilongo and Alphoso Modisaotsile is also a very remarkable one that makes him enjoy the games. He said so far things have been all great at the club. “I got there in January this year and I am very happy for the contributions that I have made in the team and the massive support that I have been getting from the management, players and even supporters,” he said. On what he can say about his performance so far, Kgaswane said he does well because of the great effort he puts in during training or in the games. He said at club level things always seem easy but at national team level it can sometimes be very difficult because of the pressure that comes with representing the nation. He referred to the Mascom Top 8 final as the best game that he has played so far more so that it was his first time playing in the final and on top of that they won the final. He said that he always make sure that he plays without fear.
The left footed winger referred to Real Madrid’s James Rodriquez as his best player in the world more so that the man plays the same position as his and also uses left like him. Kgaswane said it is his dream to see himself in a better league that will challenge him further and push him to work beyond his limits. He thanked his development coach Kentse Motlhale for building him up and making him the player that he is. He said that whichever way he succeed in the game, he will never stop thanking him for nurturing his talent well while young.