Standard Chartered Bank Botswana’s ‘Road to Anfield’ 5-Aside champions, Botswana Defence Force, left for England, Liverpool yesterday.
When the SC international 5-A-side tournament started in 2012, BDF represented the Southern Africa Region.
They qualified for the SC Trophy 2017 finals after eliminating the Zambia and Zimbabwe teams.
The finals will be held in Liverpool, Anfield this weekend.
The tournament which is an international 5-a-side football extravaganza organized by the bank in partnership with Liverpool FC, offers football fans an opportunity of playing on an English Premiership pitch. In their first appearance at Anifield the team finished as runners up.
Team lost in the finals against Singapore in penalty shootout.
Speaking at the send off ceremony the team captain, Simon Rasetshwane, said they have learnt a lot from their last appearance and this time they will win the cup.
He said they have trained very hard and the team has all it takes to be crowned the champions. “Our players are experienced and three of them were with the team in 2012 finals. We had friendly match practice with local teams to test our readiness and we did very well. We are going to fly our flag high and make this country proud,” said Rasetshwane.
When giving a word of encouragement Standard Chartered Bank Head Corporate Affairs and Brand and Marketing, Tumi Ramsden, said she was proud of the team as they will not only be representing Botswana but the region.
She said for the team to reach the finals shows they are competitive. “I have no doubt that we are sending a team that is going to compete not just to add numbers. The team proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are the future champions as far as this tournament is concerned. This tournament is a good initiative that also markets our brand,” said Ramsden
The tournament is played by amateur players; they should not be professionals or registered by a football association.
The BDF team comprises of retired national team stars Masego Nchingane, Jones Kwape, Simon Rasetshwane, Foro Mositwane and Motlotlegi Kootswetse.