Zebras warning to Bafana
The Zebras are not in the COSAFA Cup just to make numbers, insisted Coach Peter Butler this week. The team takes on Bafana Bafana in the quarterfinals in Rustenburg on May 24.
Butler has no doubt about his players and is confident that they will perform to their best against the hosts, South Africa. The coach has announced the 19 man squad for the game. The team includes both young upcoming players and tried and tested players.
Butler said he is still on rebuilding exercise to create a strong national team for the future that is why he keeps on calling in young players. However, some football followers have questioned the inclusion of veterans Modiri Marumo and Mogogi Gabonamong while there are players from U-23 who can do the job.
Butler said his objective is to have all the U-23 players in the national team but equally needs to have some experienced players to guide the youngsters. “These young players need some guidance and as you can see in each department I tried to have someone who will help the youngsters,” said Butler.
The Zebras squad includes six players from the Pio Paul’s U-23 team. Even though the coach believes that his team will do well in South Africa he hinted that it would have been nice if they started playing at the group stages.
Reports coming from South Africa are that Bafana Bafana Coach Ephraim Mashaba has called into camp a completely different squad made of only domestic players. This has raised hopes for local supporters who feel this will be an opportunity for the Zebras to upset the hosts and proceed to the semi-finals.
The Zebras have experienced and talented players especially in the middle of the park with the likes of Ofentse Nato, Gabonamong, Tsotso Ngele, Joel Mogorosi, Segolame Boy and Mpho Kgaswane. According to Butler, the team he has assembled is very strong and he expects good results from them.
All eyes will once again be on the young strikers Omaatla Kebatho of Sankoyo Bushbucks and Onkabetse Makgantai of Nico United to carry the hopes of the team forward. The two have proved their worth in the national team in a number of times and will be expected to carry their good performance from the U-23 team.
Modiri Marumo, Kabelo Dambe and Mwampole Masule
Oscar Ncenga, Richard Legwaila, Katlego Koobake, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Obonye Moswate, Tapiwa Gadibolae and Kaone Van der Westhuizen.
Lemponye Tshireletso, Segolame Boy, Joel Mogorosi, Mogogi Gabonamong, Ofentse Nato, Mogakolodi Ngele and Mpho Kgaswane
Onkabetse Makgantai and Omaatla Kebatho