'You Are Playing Big Boys Now' - Botswana Coach Mpote

Botswana coach Mogomotsi Mpote admits his side are in a tough 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification group but is hopeful that with some fresh talent to compliment his established stars, they can return to the continental showpiece for the first time since 2012.
The Zebras are in a pool along with Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya, with the top two teams to advance to the finals in Ivory Coast next year. 
It is certainly a difficult group with three worthy opponents and some arduous travels, but Mpote is confident his side will compete.

“It’s a tough one, there is no easy group [in the qualifiers],” Mpote says. “You are playing big boys now. You need to prepare well and play those games. We are expecting to work hard and win some matches. 
“We always think about the advantage of other countries, whereby they have players who are playing in the European leagues, and you have boys who are not in those leagues.
“But at least we know the boys are playing week in, week out [in the local league]. We are looking forward to those games.”

Mpote, who led Botswana to the 2019 COSAFA Cup final, where they lost to Zambia, says he would like to introduce some new players into the squad during the campaign.
“You have to mix [the squad], because we are looking at 2023 and beyond. You have players from the Under-23s, and then the tried and tested boys. If you mix, and you know you have at least two players in each position, young and senior, you will make it.
“The Under-23s will know what we are up against when we play these CAF games. Many of the boys admire the players in Europe, but once you play with them [you learn the level] and find a way to compete with them.”

Also in this episode of The COSAFA Show, we hear from Petro Atletico coach Alexandre Santos on how they defeated Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League, and the co-coach of Orlando Pirates Mandla Ncikazi on their progress in the CAF Confederation Cup.
29 Apr 2022 English South Africa Soccer · Sports

Other recent episodes

Tshabalala Wary Of As Far Threat In CAF Women's Champions League Final

Mamelodi Sundown Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala sat down with The COSAFA Show to discuss Sunday’s final of the CAF Women’s Champions League where they will take on home team AS FAR in Rabat. Sundowns are seeking back-to-back titles but will be up against an excellent opponent, as Tshabalala describes. “They…
11 Nov 2022 18 min

The CAF African Schools Championship| COSAFA Qualifier Ready For Kick-Off!

In this episode of The COSAFA Show, General Secretary Sue Destombes gives us the lowdown on the CAF African Schools Championship | COSAFA Qualifier that is being staged in Lilongwe, Malawi from Saturday. It is yet another exciting addition to the COSAFA football calendar but has a twist in that…
28 Oct 2022 36 min

All Set For TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023|COSAFA Qualifier

In this edition of The COSAFA Show we look ahead to the exciting TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier in Eswatini from October 7-16, where the best young talent in the regional will go head-to-head. They will not only chase the coveted COSAFA trophy, but also attempt to…
30 Sep 2022 25 min

All eyes Turn To Eswatini For Zonal Qualifier

The HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship is now a thing of the past and we are already looking ahead to two more tournaments on the horizon. Next up is the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship in Durban from September 25-October 1, as well as the and the regional men’s Under-20 championship…
16 Sep 2022 21 min

Lungu Wants To Add Reginal Crown To Recent Trophy Haul

Our latest episode of The COSAFA Show comes just days away from the start of the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship on Wednesday, where East African guest nation Tanzania will seek to retain the title they won last year. But there will be any number of challengers for the trophy, not…
26 Aug 2022 27 min