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An angel for the zebras

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An angel for the zebras
REAPING REWARDS: Mpatane

Second Division side Eleven Angels coach and owner Seemo Mpatane is over the moon at the selection of one of his players for the latest Zebras camp.

The Francistown-based minnow’s 19-year-old central defender, Thuso Monyama is among the 26 players called to camp in preparation for a friendly game away to Tanzania on March 25.

“I am overjoyed. This is a sign that the work I have been doing since 2009 is bearing fruit. It shows that when one works hard their efforts will be rewarded even if their club is in the lower divisions,” the ecstatic 24-year-old told Voice Sport.

“In fact my team has contributed players to junior national teams for some time now,” he added proudly.

He named the players as Quinton Mokoka and Marcus Maokanneng at under 20, Molaodi Tlhalefang who is with the under 23s and his younger brother, Bakang Mpatane who is with the under 17s and has been part of the junior national set-up set since under 13 level.

Mpatane went on to say besides having players in the national teams he is also inspired to work hard by seeing his products ply their trade in the BTC Premiership and the Debswana First Division.

Those who learnt their ropes at Eleven Angels and are now in the premier league include Kgotso Mokhudu, Gofaone Mabaya and Fortune Tlhalerwa who play for Green Lovers, Black Forest and Miscellaneous respectively.

Quizzed on how he came to own and coach a team at such a young age, the impressive Mpatane explained he started the project as a way of keeping boys off the street and out of mischief way back in 2009 whilst a student at Francistown Senior School.

“After Form Five I decided to register them as a team and affiliate to the BFA. I had dreams to be a player but decided to pursue coaching when I realised the progress the boys were making under my guidance. We spent a season in the third division and got promoted to the second division for the 2013/14 campaign.”

“We have been there since then and are slowly working our way up,” said the man who gets his coaching inspiration from his former primary school coach, Ntime Ntime and the Brazilian Alberto Carlos Perreira. Ntime was on the bench when Tafic won the Coca Cola Cup in 2002.

“I have dreams to one day see my team play in the Premier League. I would also love to coach the Zebras someday,” concluded the ambitious Mpatane, whose side are currently fourth in the Second Division log.