No local coach has won the league in 11 years
It is rare for Botswana’s so called big three of Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United to entrust local coaches to lead their teams, foreign coaches are usually given first preference in terms of long term contracts and overseeing rebuilding phases of the respective clubs.
Quite often the big clubs have been accused of failing to empower local coaches by opting for foreign coaches, judging by the low number of local coaches at the helm of the big clubs it would be difficult to make a case against the aforementioned accusation.
The last local coach to be given a long term chance at a big club was Major David Bright who delivered the Mascom Top 8 for the club in 2013, his deputy was George Mogopodi and the latter was widely tipped to take over in what seemed to be a succession plan but Mogopodi was overlooked as the club appointed two foreign coaches in the space of 18 months after parting ways with Bright.
At Chiefs’, Innocent Morapedi was the club’s assistant coach for close to seven years but was never given a chance despite the club’s constant chopping and changing of coaches. This gave birth to the notion that local coaches are often seen as ‘inside men’ for newly appointed coaches, they acted as the link between the players and the technical team but never got the big job.
Recently, Teenage Mpote has been given the chance to lead Rollers albeit on a temporary contract. Mpote has been given the chance of a lifetime but there’s a catch; he has to win the league, reach the CAF Champions League group stage and win the Mascom Top 8 in order to get the job on a permanent basis as previously reported by Gazette Sport.
It appears a tough ask given that Mpote, despite his experience at Premier League level, is a novice in terms of leading a title chasing team but it could also prove to be the defining moment of his career and the prefect foundation for taking his coaching credentials to the next level.
Mpote is at a club that is renowned for giving foreign coaches first preference in recent years but they have offered him a chance to prove himself and possibly build a legacy for himself. So far, he has shown early signs of settling in well by winning his first two games.
His success or failure could go a long way in terms of demonstrating whether or not local coaches are capable of stepping up to the plate and winning trophies if given chances to lead.
Mpote could set the tone for local coaches to get recognition in terms of being given opportunities in big clubs, his possible success could dispel the notion that local coaches are not good enough to lead clubs with title chasing ambitions. The former BR Highlanders coach could become the first Motswana coach to win the league title since 2006, the last local coach to perform the elusive feat was Sthandwa Mogwadi who led Police XI to the 2006 league title.