Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
4 minute read
15 Sep 2021
11:50 am

Ex-Bafana stand-in coach Ramoreboli earning his stripes in Botswana

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Ramoreboli has joined Jwaneng Galaxy on a short term contract.

Morena Ramoreboli, who guided Bafana Bafana to Cosafa Cup triumph in July has joined Botswana's Jwaneng Galaxy. (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Morena Ramoreboli became a household name in South African football in June when he ‘came from nowhere’ and guided Bafana Bafana to the Cosafa Cup triumph in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape. 

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Bafana won the title without losing nor conceding during the tournament which featured the countries from Southern Africa. He was called in to help after both then caretaker coach, Helman Mkhalele and goalkeeper coach, Lucky Shiburi tested positive for coronavirus and had to go into quarantine. 

Ramoreboli was the SA Under-20 coach. But as soon as the tournament ended, he had a lot of admirers locally who appreciated the work he did at Bafana. 

But he has since joined Botswana giants, Jwaneng Galaxy on a short term contract to help them with their Caf Champions League campaign.  

“Jwaneng Galaxy actually approached me before I went into camp with Bafana (for the Cosafa Cup). They asked me to come and help the team to qualify for the group stages of the Caf Champions League,” Ramoreboli told Phakaaathi this week. 

“One of the things I have set for myself in my career is to coach a team in the Champions League. So, when this opportunity came, with a short-term contract and knowing that I still have my career with the national teams, I thought let me give it a try. 

“It is a three-month contract with them. But I said let me give it a try and work hard to get the team qualified for the group stages and see where it ends. It is not going to be easy but because it is a situation that will also help me grow as a coach,” he said. 

“When I was in camp with Bafana they kept calling and I ended up saying it is fine I will come. They understand my commitments with the South African Football Association (Safa) and they are willing to support it. I thought if these people are giving me this chance to grow as a coach, then let me go and do my best. When I came here the league in South Africa had already started… the opportunities were there but I thought let me go there and come back after three months, I will know then what’s going to happen.” 

Ramoreboli had a good start at Galaxy at the weekend seeing them off to a 2-0 win at home against Central African Republic’s Diplomats FC. They are traveling to finish the job away this weekend. Ramoreboli said it will not be easy but he will give it his best to advance to the next round where it gets even tougher.   

“We will have to work very hard. You can’t compare Botswana to South Africa for obvious reasons. In South Africa clubs have resources and they can afford to buy any player they want. Here, they have a team of young players that I believe if you coach them well and if you drill them well, they will do the job. That’s what I am here to do. 

“It is not going to be an easy task, I must be honest with you on that. But so far so good. I am just hoping that we keep the focus and try to do our best because I believe with what I have seen so far, they are willing to work really hard. I can tell you now, there are some similarities (in players) between South Africa and Botswana. They have talented players who are very strong. We just need to give them more of the technical and tactical lessons and make sure they improve. I believe if we can get all that, it is possible. It is not going to be easy, but I can tell you if we win the next match our next opponent will be Simba SC of Tanzania. 

“And you know how Simba are, but those are matches where you test yourself and say ‘how far can we go?’. ‘What can we do in such a competition?’. We still have to take the players and expose them to that kind of pressure and see how they respond. We have to push them and make sure they deliver their best. It is not going to be easy, but we will do our best.”