‘My options are open’ – PJB

Kabelo Dipholo

– Vacationing Peter Butler doesn’t rule out comeback

– Former Zebras coach to watch couple of BPL matches

Former national team coach, Peter James Butler, is back in the country.

The Briton, who continues to divide opinion in football circles, has not ruled out taking a coaching job in the country, should the right offer come along.

Butler has recently left his position as Liberia national team Head Coach after three years at the helm.

The 56-year-old arrived in the country on Tuesday, just a few hours before the Zebras fell 3-2 to Equatorial Guinea in the second leg of the 2023 AFCON qualifier played at an empty Obed Itani Chilume Stadium (OIC).

“I was supposed to proceed to Francistown to watch the match, but I flew in very late and could not make the game as there were no flights to Francistown,” Butler told Voice Sport in an interview, adding that he watched the match on television.

The former West Ham United player was, however, quick to dismiss rumours linking him to the Gaborone United coaching job.

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“I’m here on vacation, nothing else,” was his curt reply.

“I’ve come to reunite with the beautiful country and its people, and plan to travel to Kazungula in the coming week,” he said.

Butler, who was appointed the Zebras Head Coach in 2014, turned the OIC into a fortress, and reignited the national team’s support base, who came in their thousands to watch their heroes in action.

His attacking 3-5-2 formation was a menace to many teams as he deployed fresh-faced talent that included the likes of Lebogang Ditsele, Thatayaone Dithokwe and Mothusi Johnson.

His memorable victories include a hard fought 2-1 win against the much-fancied Mali, a 2-0 win against Guinea Bissau in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers and a 1-0 victory against Aristide Bance’s Burkina Faso.

He was not only putting up a spirited fight in AFCON qualifiers, the Englishman’s COSAFA Cup record includes a semi final finish in 2015 where he lost 2-1 to Mozambique, and losing 3-2 to South Africa in the 2016 final.

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Sharing his thoughts on the Zebras’ Tuesday performance, Butler said it was sad to see the team lose, as a victory would have given them an outside chance of qualifying.

“It was tough because Guinea were focused on slowing down the pace, a tactic that seemed to work well for them,” he said.

“I was, however, happy to see some of the players I brought into the national team still playing, and I plan to watch a couple of games this weekend and catch up with local football and some old friends.”

Could this be the return of Butler to Botswana?

“Football is a peculiar game. Things can change very quickly. I always have my options open,” was Butler’s tongue in cheek response.

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