Ahead of a crucial clash with Kenya in Lobatse this afternoon, lady Zebras coach, Gaolethoo ‘Ronaldo’ Nkutlwisang, said she was in cruise control despite daunting “challenges”.
Uppermost in the mind of the coach and her team will be to bring a tumultuous week to a close with a victory over the Harambe Starlets in an Olympic qualifier at the colourful New Lobatse Stadium.
Kick-off is at pm.
Nkutlwisang said her team is ready for this afternoon’s clash despite few challenges off the pitch. “We only have seven days in camp and we have not had a friendly game, We did not have enough preparations that I can be satisfied with, but I am not undermining my players.
“We are ready for the clash although we do not know the Kenyan’s style of play,” she said at Wednesday’s press conference. “We want to show Batswana that we are determined and we want to prove to Botswana Football Association (BFA) that we want to do our work.”
Acting BFA vice president- technical, Susan Montsho said they are working around the clock to develop women’s football. “Women’s football is new in Botswana, but we are focused in developing it. The BFA is trying to secure sponsorship.
“We have a lot of challenges such as transport and accommodation, but we are fully taking care of the players’ welfare,” Montsho said. The coach said there are two injuries that forced changes, but that will not deter the players.
The team is minus influential striker, Phatsimo Boseja who was injured during a club game. However, experienced Township Rollers goal poacher, Amogelang Moahi is expected to spearhead the attack.
Nkutlwisang has also called both Lesego Keleboge of Prisons and Boitumelo Gammu of Double Action. The team’s vice captain, Kgomotso Molefe said they are prepared for the tie.
“The morale is high in the camp and nothing will stop us from defeating Kenya,” Molefe said.
The Harambe Starlets on the other hand go into the game with sky-high confidence after they won a friendly match 4-0 against Gaspo women’s football club on Tuesday in Kenya.
On March 28, the Starlets played a tough friendly game against Egypt and lost 1-0.
The local side will do well to look out for Veronica Nafula, who brings her experience and exposure to the team.
Nafula scored a brace in a friendly encounter against Gaspo.
Kenyan squad: Neddy Atieno, Caroline Anyango, Harriet Fahiri, Cheris Avilia, Nafula, Wendy Achieng, Pauline Atieno, Samantha Akinyi, Ann Aluoch, Caroline Kiget, Dorcas Shikobe Irene Ogutu, Mary Kinuthia, Tabaka Chacha, Jacky Ogol, Christine Nafula, Esse Akida and Maurine Achieng.
Goalkeepers: Sedilame Boseja, Refilwe Tshambani, Peggy Segokgo
Defenders: Kgomotso Molefe, Veronica Mogotsi, Tlamelo Motlhale, Nancy Baeletsi, Masego Montsho.
Midfielders: Bonang Otlhagile, Boitumelo Gammu, Thuso Leseaane, Golebaone Selebatso, Kesegofetse Moshawe, Lebogang Setereke
Strikers: Lesego Keleboge, Kitso Sheba, Thuto Ramafifi, Refilwe Matlho, Chedza Katsibe, Moahi, Nondi Mahlasela