FRANCISTOWN: Township Rollers goalkeeper, Kabelo Dambe and Black Leopards midfielder, Mogakolodi Ngele are amongst high profile names in the Zebras team to face Malawi next week Saturday.
The Zebras take on Malawi in a 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifier at the Francistown Sports Complex.
Both Ngele and Dambe have not been part of the national team since March this year. Dambe replaces teammate, Keagile Kgosipula. He is said to have fallen out with senior officials at Botswana Football Association (BFA) after he absconded from the national team camp in Francistown prior to an African Nations Championship clash against Zambia early this month.
Dambe, who recently returned to Rollers after a second stint in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL), has not played much club football since the beginning of the year. It was widely thought he would immediately establish himself at Township Rollers. But Rollers coach, Tomas Trucha has been rotating Wagarre Dikago and Kgosipula during the pre-season as well as the CAF Champions League competition.
Ngele is yet to command a regular place at Leopards having joined the team from Mamelodi Sundowns. He did not play competitive matches in the PSL last season, as he was not registered. On another scene, Simisani Mathumo and Lesenya Ramoraka are amongst the notable players who have made their return to the national team. The two players did not feature at the COSAFA Cup after pleading with association to excuse them for various reasons.
Mathumo has made a return to Township Rollers after a six-month stint with Free State Stars in South Africa. Ramoraka has featured regularly for PSL side, Highlands Park.
The squad has a number of players who did duty for the Under-23 side last year. Zebras assistant coach, Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote said the new coach was not involved in the selection of the team as he is still new on the job.
“I selected the team working with the other technical team members who have been part of the national set-up while I was the interim coach,” said Mpote.
Mpote will assist newly appointed Belgian, Adel Amrouche. He explained his decision to recall Ngele and Dambe.
“I am aware that they have not played that much in recent months. I called them because of their experience. They have played many high profile national team matches in the past and I am convinced their experience on and off the pitch might come handy against Malawi,” said Mpote.