Botswana gear up for 2010 cup qualifiers

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Zebras of Botswana are expected to assemble in Gaborone today to start preparing themselves for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

Cowlyn Rowe, Zebras' English coach, has named a formidable team that will begin their preparations by playing a friendly against Bafana Bafana.

The match, which South Africa are using to sharpen themselves up for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ghana, will take place in Durban on January 13.

Tshepo Mphukutshi, Zebras' team manager, said the local-based players are expected to report for a training camp today.

"The only players who will join us later are those who ply their trade in other parts of the country, we have made all the arrangements with them."

The selected foreign-based players for the Bafana Bafana game include Dipsy Selolwane (Jomo Cosmos), Michael Mogaladi (Maritzburg United), Mogogi Gabonamong (Santos) and Ndiapo Letsholathebe (now in the United States of America).

Besides the clash with South Africa, Mphukutshi said they were planning to line-up a series of international friendlies for the Zebras in the build-up to the qualifiers.

"It is important for us to play against the best in the world to gauge our strengths and weaknesses ahead of the 2010 World Cup/2010 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"The game against Bafana Bafana will help us a lot in terms of our preparations, it is important for us to qualify for the World Cup and Afcon."

The South African-bound team is: Modiri Marumo (BDF X1), Noah Maposa (Centre Chiefs), Michael Nkutule (Ecco), Ernest Amos (Tasc), Moreetsi Mosimanyane (Police X1), Mompati Phuma (Botswana Defence Force X1), Tshepo Mohlabankwe (Centre Chiefs), Khumo Motlhabane (Flamingo Santos), Goboneone Selefa (Centre Chiefs), Keoagetse Rapoditsane (Notwane), Oteng Moalusi (Centre Chiefs), Abednigo Powell (Ecco), Jerome Ramahlakoana (Centre Chiefs), Joel Mogorori (still without a club after returning from Cyprus), Malepa Bolelang (Ecco), Moemodi Moatlhaping (Township Rollers), Boitumelo Mafoko (Township Rollers), Selolwane, Mogaladi, Gabonamong and Letsholathebe.