‘THE MAJOR’ UNVEILED AS ZEBRAS NEW HEAD COACH
The dawn of an exciting new era is upon Botswana football with the return of Major David Bright to the national team’s hot seat.
The former army major was unveiled as the Zebras new head coach on a three-year contract by the Botswana Football Association on Monday.
Bright has previously led the national side on three separate occasions – for two games in 1997, a single match in 1999 and then a short period in 2000.
However, the 61-year-old’s latest appointment marks the first time he has been given control on a long-term basis.
Despite taking over a side currently languishing 138th in the most recent FIFA World Rankings, Bright is optimistic he can revive the Zebras dwindling fortunes.
Indeed during his first press conference as Zebras boss, the ever-confident Bright stressed that qualifying for the World Cup was a realistic proposition.
“This is my first time being engaged as a full time national team coach. Last time, when I was attached temporarily in 2000, we won The King’s Millennium Cup in Swaziland.
“We are talking the national team as locals and who knows we might take Zebras to the World Cup. Everything is done by hard work, not miracles,” said the former Mogoditshane Fighters coach, who led the army side to three consecutive Premier League titles (1999-2001) during his 13-year spell at the club.
Beaming with pride at the honour of finally being given his dream job, ‘Fakuda’ described national duty as a big task but vowed to ‘work diligently for his nation’.
Bright expects to ‘achieve results’ with the squad he inherited from former coach Peter Butler, adding that, together with his technical team, he would ‘take the baton to move forward not backward’.
The Major was keen to emphasise the importance of development, explaining that he intends to work closely with club coaches to help local talent flourish.
The new coach will not have long to settle into his new role.
His first assignment comes this weekend as the Zebras host South Africa in the CHAN qualifiers in Francistown on Saturday.
Undaunted by the apparent ‘baptism of fire’ a laidback Bright told reporters, “I believe the time we had with the boys in the camp was enough and we worked much on their fitness. We are going to compete – it has been too long since we beat Bafana Bafana!”
Addressing the media during Bright’s unveiling, the man ultimately responsible for the Major’s return, BFA President MacLean Letshwiti explained that after parting ways with Butler, the association took time to consider the kind of coach Botswana needed.
He revealed there was deliberate policy to go local and, as such, Bright was the obvious candidate.
“We needed a man with experience, the right qualifications and a lot of achievement and we believe Bright is that type of a person.
“A man who could understand the transition they (the Zebras) are in, who knows the local game, the players and shares the passion for Zebras. We needed a coach that believes in the philosophy in building strong brand and this is the man we were looking for,” insisted an uncharacteristically emotive Maclean, adding that the BFA would give the new coach ‘all the support he needs to succeed’.
Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure – with the characteristic Major at the helm, football in the country certainly won’t be dull – indeed it’ll be positively bright!