Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic has refused to rule out the possibility of mentoring the Zebras of Botswana in future and transform the country’s football fortunes for the better.
Affectionately known as Micho in football circles, the Serbian-born master tactician was three years ago or so high on a list of potential replacements for the then Zebras head coach, Stanley Tshosane.
Tshosane, who had taken over from Colywn Rowe fired at the height of the 2012 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Gabon/Equatorial Guinea qualifiers, was shown the door soon after the country’s historic participation at the African soccer showpiece.
The former military man paved way for Peter James Butler popularly known in football circles as PJ. However, those close to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) have hinted that Micho was leading that list of potential replacements for Tshosane.
According to information that the BFA itself has not disputed are that Micho could not join the Zebras as a head coach because the country’s football governing body had dismally failed to meet the Serbian’s demands.
It is against this backdrop that BFA opted for a lesser demanding Butler. But Micho could regretting the decision to turn down the BFA job offer on the basis that the association had failed to meet his personal demands.
If his post-match interview with the journalists after sending the Zebras tumbling by the wayside at the Francistown Sports Complex last Saturday is anything to go by, then the former Orlando Pirates mentor is living a regret.
It seems the man who was appointed as a Uganda Cranes head coach in May 2013 is of the view that he has overstayed in the East African footballing nation. Conclusion drawn from the interview suggests that Micho has got an affection for the Zebras.
“Never say never in football. Who knows? I would never say never,” said Micho when responding to a question if the pintsized manager still harbors interests to lead the local national soccer team.
Micho affectionately remembers that he was nearly appointed the Zebras head coach some three to four years ago. However, the deal fell apart after he failed to agree “on certain issues with the BFA.”
The Serbian was quick to explain that what transpires in the past is now water under the bridge saying nobody knows “what the future holds.” Micho was full of praises for the local boys saying they have got a great potential.
He knows some of the players by names as he mentioned Lesego Galenamotlale, Onkabetse Makgantai, Ofentse Nato and Joel Mogorosi to just mention a few – a development that shows that the coach follow the local game closely.
While one could argue that Micho was following the local team for the purposes of preparing for the Afcon qualifiers only, he added: “The local boys are talented. Having a team of six to seven left footed players is an awesome experience.”
Whether BFA has secretly approached the Serbian master tactician or not, time will tell.
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 France’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.