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Oldies return to dugouts

KABELO BORANABI
Back in the dugout: Morapedi was appointed GU coach this week. PIC : MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Gaborone United (GU) this week became the latest club to turn to local coaches’ archives after appointing Innocent Morapedi as head coach.

Morapedi’s arrival sees Pontsho Moloi, who has been at the helm on an interim basis, demoted to the assistant coach with Khalid Niyonzima staying on as goalkeeper coach in a minor technical team shake up.

The appointment affirms a recent trend where young blood are paving way for the oldies. At the start of the last season, youthful coaches such as Wame ‘Pepezino’ Mokoka, Moloi, Portuguese Miguel da Costa and Blessing Moyo held head coaching jobs.

The appointment has also seen a number of expatriates massively decrease. Serbian, Nikola Kavazovic (Township Rollers), Gilport Lions’ Paradzanyi Madivenga and Gilbert Mushangazhike at Notwane remain the only foreign coaches in the elite league. 

However, Mushangazike is not permitted to sit on the bench as he has failed to meet the set qualifications.

GU has said the appointment was motivated by Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) qualification requirements for head coaches. A minimum of a CAF A coaching licence is set standard in the Premier League, but local coaches can sit on the bench with a CAF B licence as a special waiver. Moloi does not meet the requirements as he holds a CAF C licence.

“As we are all aware, there are requirements of coaching at Premier League level hence his appointment. We wanted to give a Motswana Coach responsibilities of leading our club,” the club said this week.

Morapedi boasts of experience of over two decades. He has held head coaching jobs at Notwane and Mochudi

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Centre Chiefs in recent years.

Though clubs are now localising the head coach jobs, they are faced with limitations, as the majority of young local coaches do not possess the required documents.

Topping the list of the returnees is former BFA technical director, Losika ‘Six’ Keatlholetswe who has joined league champions, Jwaneng Galaxy on a one-year contract.

The coach returns to an elite team after an eight-year long absence.

Although he has not held an elite league-coaching job in close to a decade, Six has been involved with the game in the development structures and lower-league teams. He has coached amongst others, BDF XI and Mogoditshane Fighters.

Keatlholetswe made a winning return to the dugout as he oversaw Galaxy beat USD Zilimadjou of Comoros in a CAF Champions League tie played last weekend.

 His former colleague at BFA, David Bright has also landed a job at Premier League newcomers, Sua Flamingoes. He also coached BDF XI and Mogoditshane Fighters and has two league championships to show for his efforts. Bright is the last local coach to lead the Zebras and has led the Under-23 team. In another appointment, a front-runner in the current vacant, BFA technical director post, Kaelo ‘Wire’ Kaelo is at Security Systems. Always waiting on the wings are coaches such as Rapelang ‘Razor’ Tsatsilebe, Alex Malete, Michael Mogaladi, Matshidiso Moseki and Gadimang Tiiso, who are either without a club or have found homes in the lower divisions teams.



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