Botswana coach Mpote looking beyond 2023 Afcon

Botswana national team head coach Mogomotsi Mpote says they will have one eye looking beyond the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations when they embark on the next qualifying campaign. Mpote believes the Zebras need a bigger pool of players and has suggested gradually introducing youngsters during the 2023 campaign.

He is confident his team got all it takes to reach the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. However, he admitted it would be hard because they fell into a complex qualifier group. The Zebras are in Group J alongside Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

“A tough one, no easy group. We are playing big boys now; we just need to prepare well and play those games. We expect to work hard, so we win some games,” Mpote told the Cosafa Show. “The leagues are on; boys are playing week in, week out. We are ok and looking forward to play those games.”

The 60-year-old revealed that the key to success is to have a balanced squad with a mix of skill and experience as players play in different leagues and competitions. “We have to mix players because we are looking at 2023 and beyond. In each position, we will try to have two players; young and senior.

“We have players playing in other leagues and those who participated in CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup,” Mpote added.The first round of qualifiers will take place on 30th May; Botswana faces Libya as they begin their pursuit to make a return to Africa’s elite tournament. Their first and last appearance was in 2012.

By Otis Ntshangase

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