FRANCISTOWN: Former Zebras defender, Ndiyapo Letsholathebe says he relishes his role as first head coach at Debswana First Division North side, Great North Tigers (GNT).
Letsholathebe is amongst several of his former national teammates such as Pontsho Moloi and Michael Mogaladi who ventured into coaching immediately after they hung up their boots.
The former Police XI defender was appointed GNT coach last month, taking over from Edward Leposo, who had been in charge for over a decade.
“I am settling well in my coaching role. Obviously there are a few challenges, especially when it comes to decision making and managing players, because it is my first head-coaching role,” he said.
“I am working with a few people who have been at the club for sometime. They are helping me to adjust. I am ready for the challenge.”
Letsholathebe explained that the interactions he has had with various coaches during his years as a player would help him to effectively discharge his duties.
His major task is to save GNT from relegation to Division One. GNT are third from bottom in the First Division North league, two points away from safety.
“I am confident that we will survive. I am taking it one game at a time. We are not playing badly to be honest with you,” he added.
Letsholathebe, who holds a CAF C coaching licence, aspires to coach at higher level.
“My main ambition is to coach in the Premier League. I would also like to coach any of the national teams if the opportunity presents itself. I believe coaching in the First Division will give me an opportunity to improve my coaching skills without much pressure. If I did not have ambitions of coaching at a higher level, I could not have gone into coaching.”
He said if he is unable to help GNT gain promotion to the elite league in the near future he would be open to offers from other Premier League clubs.
The 36-year-old retired from playing more than fours years back. He quickly accepted a position to work within the Police XI technical team as one of the assistant coaches.
Letsholathebe’s illustrious career saw him represent the Zebras at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. He played for Police IX and the Zebras for more than 10-years.
The towering former defence stalwart also played a pivotal role when Police XI clinched the Premier League title in 2006. He has also featured for all youth national teams in a fulfilling career.