The Mares regroup

Portia Mlilo

Women’ national team return to soccer action

After missing in action for about nine months, Botswana Senior Women’s National Team will travel to South Africa this Friday for a friendly match against Banyana Banyana.

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‘The Mares’ as the team is affectionately known, played their last international match against Namibia in Botswana Independence Cup. Botswana won the cup, defeating the Brave Gladiators 2-1.

The Mares made their first appearance at TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco last year in July where they finished in the quarter finals.

This week’s friendly will be part of Botswana Coach, Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang’s preparations for HollywoodBets COSAFA Cup Championship and the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers.

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Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis will use this game to prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023.

Speaking to Voice Sport Coach Nkutlwisang said she was happy that Botswana Football Association (BFA) managed to secure the friendly match as she has introduced new players in her squad.

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The Coach said she was trying to create a big competitive squad, hence she dropped most of the players who participated in WAFCON.

“Our national team has not been active and I will use this game to test our level of fitness. I watched most of them playing in the league games and during DTCB Botswana Women’s Football Championship Playoffs and some played for U20. I must say they are good players and they just need a platform to prove themselves. It is not a new team all together, some have not been regulars and we have been training together for the past four days,” said Nkutlwisang

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The Coach says she will need at least six international friendly games to build a strong squad and find a winning combination.

Nkutlwisang expressed confidence in her tried and tested defence which remains unchanged from the previous competitions. She however intends to work on the midfield and forward departments.

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Botswana International players Refilwe Tholakele and Sedilame Bosija both playing for Mamelodi Sundowns are also part of the traveling squad.

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