The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has made arrangements with BTC Premiership and First Division teams to release players selected for the COSAFA Under-20 championships scheduled for South Africa next month.
Since the regional spectacular falls outside the FIFA calendar, there was a scare that teams will not release their players with the league gaining momentum.
However BFA public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said clubs have released their players.
“The boys are in camp. We have communicated with their respective teams to release them for the camp. There are arrangements that when a player is needed for club duty for a weekend fixture, they will communicate with the TD (technical director),” he said. Mpatane further said they are working on a process where the players will be fully in camp before the competition.
The team’s coach, George Mogopodi named a strong 25-man provisional squad that comprises the majority of first team players in their respective teams.
Mogopodi kept the crop of the team that was knocked out of the Under-20 Africa Championships qualifiers by Zimbabwe in April.
Township Rollers’ Gape Mohutsiwa is expected to lead the team, while the inclusion of Zebras’ defender Thato Kebue will bring stability to the side’s shaky defence. Gaborone
However, UK-based Renei Batlokwa (19) and Brandon Wilson (19) who plies his trade in the Australian A-league have failed to make the cut. Batlokwa is nursing a knee injury while Wilson is set for a Zebras call up. “The Under-20 has been selected based on strength and the players are in camp. The players were selected based on what they can offer to the team,” Mpatane said.
The Young Zebras have been drawn against South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland in Group A. The tournament kicks-off on December 7 and runs until December 16.
Full team list:
Alford Velaphi, Aobakwe Tshobo, Gape Mohutsiwa, Goitseone Legopelo, Isaac Moyo, Kesaobaka Ramotswaedi, Kitso Mangolo, Loago Maswena, Marcus Maokanyeng, Mothusi Cooper, Mpho Kgomo, Ndzibi Bale, Ocean Lottering, Ronaldo Fortune, Thabang Mooketsi, Thato Mogorosi, Thato Kebue, Thatayaone Ditlhokwa, Thato Mogobe, Thero Asele, Tiroyaone Maome, Tshepo Malgase, Tumisang Selolwane