Zebras’ coach Peter Butler has rang changes in latest senior national squad named yesterday. Butler called up a 26-man squad that is set to compete in the COSAFA Cup, 2019 AFCON qualifiers and the CHAN qualifiers.
The Briton has included six uncapped players in the squad including UK-based starlet, Renei Batlokwa and Black Forest duo of Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Michael James.
Batlokwa who plies his trade at Southend United in the League One, English football third tier has been yearning for a chance in the national team after putting on impressive displays in the United’s Under-21. The ambidextrous footed attacker can play on both wings and can be very influential when played behind the main striker.
The 19-year-old has recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of contention for the Under-20 squad that took part in COSAFA under-20 cup. Forest’s keeper James’ sterling displays have not gone unnoticed as he received his fist Zebras call. The keeper has been the backbone of the Forest defence that has only conceded 28 goals after 29 games. His teammate at Forest, Kgamanyane also got the nod ahead of Rollers’ Segolame Boy. The nimble footed attacker has tucked in nine goals in the league campaign and was instrumental in his chase for the top eight spot. Jwaneng Galaxy’s Thero Setsile and Rollers’ Bogosi Kaekwe are in line for a full debut after making unofficial appearances in the Independence Cup last year.
Hardmen, Moreetsi Mosimanyana and Richard Legwaila have returned to national setup in four years. The duo was last part of the Zebras when Stanley Tshosane was still in charge. Zebras’ captain Joel Mogorosi is one of the notable absentees. The ageing attacker had a difficult start to the year but has been on course to recover his old form. The Zebras have tight schedule ahead of them in the off-season.
They will take on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a friendly match to be in played on June 5. The team would also face Mauritania on June 9. Butler’s troops will then jet-off to South Africa where they will take part in the COSAFA cup before they host nemesis South Africa on July 14 in the first round of the CHAN qualifiers. They will visit Bafana Bafana on July 21 for the second leg.
The full squad:
Kabelo Dambe, Mwampule Masole (both Township Rollers), Michael James (Black Forest)
Bogosi Kaekwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe (both Township Rollers), Moreetsi Mosimanyana (Jwaneng Galaxy), Thato Kebue (Mochudi Centre Chiefs), Mothusi Johnson (Tafic), Ofentse Nato (Athletico de Kolkata), Onkabetse Seforo (BDF XI)
Kabelo Seakanyeng (Gaborone United), Lebogang Ditsele (Highlands Park, SA), Lemogang Maswena (Orapa United), Lesego Galenamotlhale (Mochudi Centre Chiefs), Lemponye Tshireletso (Township Rollers), Mogakolodi Ngele (BidVest Wits, SA), Mpho Kgaswane (Baroka FC, SA), Richard Legwaila (BDF XI), Tapiwa Gadibolae (Police XI), Thatayaone Kgamanyane (Black Forest), Thero Setsile (Jwaneng Galaxy)
Omaatla Kebatho (Orapa United), Tumisang Orebonye (Gaborone United), Thabang Sesenyi (Jwaneng Galaxy), Onkabetse Makgantai (AS Vita, DRC), Renei Batlokwa (Southend United, UK)