• Says Chiefs are a potential plank for plucking the Botswana international off to Europe
  • Sees Ditlhokwe as an instant first X1 fit because he has the necessary work rate and
  • Looks ahead to the centre-half sealing the Zebras defence in AFCON qualifiers
    next month
  • Maclean Letshwiti has congratulated the impermeable centre-half on social media


Botswana’s senior national football team coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, has tipped his national team captain to succeed at Kaizer Chiefs following a recent announcement by the South African football giants that the 24-year old centre-back had signed a pre-contract with them.

“It is a welcome development even though Captain Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s current club, Supersport United, is also a big team and has been giving him ample chances to play,” Mpote said, adding that playing for Kaizer Chiefs is a potential plank for plucking the Botswana international off to Europe or a similarly highly competitive and lucrative destination.

Ditlhokwe, who joined Pretoria outfit Supersport United in 2019, will join Kaizer Chiefs in July this year on a four-year deal to reinforce the team’s backline that has so far seen 21 goals go past it this season.


Starting X1
Mpote said he has no doubt that the former Township Rollers, Gaborone United and Nico United defender will fit into the Soweto giants’ starting X1 like a T-joint and add to the synergy.

“Breaking into a first X1 should be relatively easy for him because that is determined by your work rate and self-belief, and I strongly believe that Ditlhokwe has all those attributes,” he added.

He saw Ditlhokwe’s move to Kaizer Chiefs creating a positive impression about football talent in Botswana and opening opportunities for more local players to follow in Ditlhokwe’s steps to what is arguably the most competitive environment on the African continent.

“We currently have a problem in terms of having international scouts who can identify our talented players and sell to destinations like Europe,” Mpote said.

The newly-appointed Zebras coach said given the struggles of Kaizer Chiefs over the previous seasons is an indication enough that they needed a solid and thoroughly experienced central defender to put a stop to their porous backline.

Potential for Europe
“You cannot recruit a player to sit on the bench,” he pointed out. “So clearly they have a plan for Ditlhokwe. When you look at the type of players that Kaizer Chiefs has at the back, that goes to show how weak they are.”

He added that he has personally played a huge role in converting Ditlhokwe from a left back into the impassable central defender that he is today.

“His positional play is very important and I want to believe that since Kaizer Chiefs are a popular sider with a rich history, he will go further in his career because most teams, especially in Europe, will take a closer look at him and maybe take him,” Mpote said.
In his view, the worst scenario of failing to field him regularly at Chiefs would affect the Zebras, considering that there are crunch African Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON) scheduled for next month (March).


Afcon qualifiers
“We need his experience and have always counted on him to improve our backline,” he pointed out. “So I will be looking forward to having him back to play the AFCON qualifiers.”

Meanwhile, the president of Botswana Football Association, Maclean Letshwiti, was early in the ranks of high profile commentators who have congratulated the impermeable centre-half on social media.