Zebras coach, Peter Butler has included Mochudi Centre Chiefs winger, Lemponye Tshireletso in the 28-man squad preparing to face Ethiopia on Independence Day.
Butler flew into a storm when he criticised the selection of Zebras midfielder, Lesego Galenamotlhale as the last season’s Player of the Season and Chiefs vowed not to release their players for national duty. However, the new Botswana Football Association (BFA) chief executive officer, Kitso Kemoeng was tasked with handling the matter.
“I never had any issues with Chiefs. They have always been called. He (Tshireletso) was sick previously. I am always happy to have Chiefs players in my squad as well as any other player who is playing well for his respective team,” Butler told Mmegi Sport yesterday.
The squad includes a number of rookies particularly from Police XI who have had a storming start to the season. Four players from the second-placed Police XI have been called up. They include sizzling former Township Rollers frontman, Phenyo Molefe. Molefe has scored four goals in seven matches.
Also given an opportunity is Green Lovers hit man, Moatlhodi Ralesotla who has bagged nine goals in seven starts. The goals have however dried in the last two matches, but Ralesotla is expected to use the opportunity to impress Butler.
The Englishman, who won a portion of his critics after a refreshing 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso, has called up what looks like a formidable and balanced side. Veteran campaigners; Kabelo Dambe, gritty Boitumelo Mafoko and captain, Joel Mogorosi are expected to provide guidance to the youngsters as Butler continues to stitch together pieces of his long term project.
“We have a lot of young players and lots of competition for places right now. I have tried to call a few young players who have not been previously called. We will play with two strikers. (Keolopile) Molemi from Miscellaneous has caught my eye a few times. Strong, quick left footed central defender; hard to find. Ralesotla deserves a call-up. Really we could pick two national teams,” he said.
Goalkeepers: Mwampole Masule (BDF XI), Goitseone Phoko (GU), Kabelo Dambe (Rollers)
Defenders: Mosha Gaolaolwe (BDF XI), Katlego Koobake (GU),Gaopatwe Seosenyeng (GU), Tebogo
Sosome (Galaxy), Boitumelo Mafoko (Galaxy),Keolopile Moremi (Miscellaneous), Gogontle
Marumo (Orapa United), Obonye Moswate (Township Rollers)
Midfielders: Kabelo Seakanyeng (BDF XI), Mpho Kgaswane (GU), Lebogang Ditsele (Gilport Lions), Lemponye Tshireletso (Chiefs), Olebogeng Malebye (Galaxy), Lemogang Maswena (Orapa United), Tapiwa Gadibolae (Police XI), Gilbert Baruti (Galaxy), Letlhogonolo
Senwelo (Police XI), Joseph Joseph (Police XI), Segolame Boy (Township Rollers), Joel
Mogorosi (Township Rollers), Galabgwe Moyana (Rollers)
Strikers: Hendrick Moyo (GU), Onkabetse Mankgantai (Nico), Phenyo Molefe (Police XI), Moatlhodi Ralesotla (Green Lovers)