The future of hard tackling midfielder Ofentse Nato is a subject of ongoing speculation at high flying Township Rollers following his latest stunts pertaining his commitment to the club.
Nato is believed to be skipping training without permission from the club, a development which has since compelled the management to start discussion over his immediate future. Rollers sources say the player is not injured as some information purports but deliberately missies training — a character that is not synonymous with him. Some believe the player is frustrated by lack of game time at The Blues.
Nato whom many believe should be the bedrock of today’s Zebras squad, has however emitted mixed feelings since his controversial move to Rollers two years ago. Most disturbing was his wayward behavior whenever he was called for national duty. Sometimes in 2016, the player showed-up for the Zebras camp that was held in Jwaneng in an unstable condition where he was suspected to have ingested intoxicating waters. According to a concerned Zebras source, Nato‘s wayward behavior comes from far.
It is said the Mogobane born player’s same behavior played itself out when the team was in camp in Morocco in 2017. Again in Francistown, Nato was also brought under the same scalpel where Zebras former coach Peter Butler relegated him to the bench the whole 90 minutes during Botswana’s first AFCON 2019 qualifying game against Mauritania.
Nato is yet to make a public comment about his fitness and the alleged unsporting behavior. He could not be reached for comment as his phone was off-line at the time of going to print. Nato first joined Rollers in 2016, but played few games after both Mochudi Centre Chiefs and the now relegated Gilport lions protested that he was not legally registered. Then he penned a 4 months deal in 2016, Nato‘s earning were believed to be around P25 000.
He came back last season under Nikola Kavazovic and it was anyone’s guess to see if Nato was to be a first-choice selection in a midfield often times bossed by captain Maano Ditshupo. But Rollers management hoped that his personality and experience would serve to inspire the rest of the dressing room, notably the younger players.
When signing Nato, Rollers said they always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Nato joined more because his contract with Athletico De Kolkota ended and he signed to play, not to inspire, as he once declared he is quitting international football. Rollers say there has never been an option built into the deal for him to commit further after his 2 year contract lapses.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of Franceâ€™s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.