MATCHS DU JOUR 13
Moreno Ramoreboli has led the Botswana club to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their history, just three months after taking over. Before his first match in the prestigious competition, this Saturday, February 12 (13h GMT), against Esperance of Tunis, the winner of the COSAFA Cup 2021 with Bafana Bafana confides to Sport News Africa.
June 2021, Bafana Bafana interim coach Helman Mkhalele and goalkeeping coach Lucky Shiburi test positive for Covid 19. The South African Football Association calls U20 coach Morena Ramoreboli. At 41 years old, he managed to win the COSAFA Cup without conceding a goal. He quickly became known throughout Southern Africa.
In his native country, Morena Ramoreboli had revealed himself as a coach in 2013. With a D3 team, Maluti FET College, he won the South African League Cup by beating Orlando Pirates (4-1) in the final. Quite a feat. The 'miracle worker' and close friend of Pitso Mosimane would go on to make his mark with Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana. He helped the club, founded in 2014, reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in its history.
Jwaneng Galaxy were beaten 2-0 at home by Simba SC in the double-header that decided who would qualify, but they will bounce back in the second leg. The Botswana team won 3-1 in Tanzania. Previously, in the first round of preliminaries, Morena Ramoreboli's men eliminated Central African side Diplomate FC. This Saturday 12 February (13:00 GMT) at the Rades Stadium, this ambitious team is determined to sign a new exploit, against Esperance Tunis, for the first day of the LDC (group C).
Confident and uninhibited
The South African coach believes in his group's chances. ''All the clubs in this competition are champions in their respective countries," he said. '' We have confidence in ourselves. We are ready. The only difference with Esperance Tunis is their experience and the trophies they have won in this competition. We have the same chances as Esperance in this Champions League.''
Jwaneng Galaxy are a team with a strong Botswana accent. The squad is made up of young local players supported by Namibian Wendell Rudath and South African duo Themba Dhladhla-Lucky Mokoena. The players do not have the same aura as the internationals of the Tunisian club, but the determination is unwavering.
"We respect Esperance of Tunis. If we look at the statistics, Esperance is ranked second on the continent after Al Ahly of Egypt," said the coach. Nevertheless, we are a team with potential and in constant progress. It is beneficial for us to meet this kind of team. It is an opportunity for us to prove that there is potential and talent in Botswana. We need to show that Jwaneng Galaxy are a force to be reckoned with in the African club scene. We will see how far we can go."
Pitso Mosimane, the reference
Morena Ramoreboli was keen to pay tribute to her friend Pitso Mosimane and in doing so, make a plea for African coaches. The latter are facing competition from their European colleagues on the benches of the continent's big clubs. The Jwaneng Galaxy coach suggests that they can achieve great things if they are trusted. He cites as examples Algeria's Jamel Belmadi, African champion with the Fennecs in 2019, and his successor, Senegal's Aliou Cisse, the coach of the 2021 African Cup of Nations-winning Lions of Teranga.
At club level, Ramoreboli's absolute reference remains the coach of Al Ahly. Pitso Mosimane is a two-time winner of the Egyptian Champions League. Before that, the South African won the same trophy (2016) as well as the CAF Cup (2017) with a club from his country, Mamelodi Sundows. "We are the best suited to raise the standards of football in Africa. We know the culture of the players and we know how to motivate them," says the young South African coach.
He added: "Pitso Mosimane has shown us that it is possible. He has done it. We are also capable of rising to the challenge. He is a reference for African coaches. We have to stay focused and humble but do our best to achieve our goals."
Raidhi Jaidi and his men have been warned. In the first match of this group, Etoile Sahel and CR Belouizdad shared the points (0-0) on Friday 11 February at the Rades stadium.