Botswana on Saturday announced their squad for the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations, with the United States of America-based Thuto Ramafiki and Esalenna Galekhutle making the cut.
The Mares are making their debut appearance at the continental showpiece, and they will square up against defending champions Nigeria, South Africa, and Burundi in Group C.
To this end, coach Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang has named a team mainly of local-based professionals to compete for honours against the rest of Africa.
Also included in the final list are Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja, Prisons’ Nancy Baeletsi as well as Balotlhanyi Johannes who represents Double Action in the Botswana elite division.
The Southern African country will commence their campaign against fellow debutants Burundi on July 4 inside Stade Moulay Hassan, Rabat.
Three days later, they tackle the Super Falcons at the same venue before taking on Banyana Banyana on July 10 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Football Association organised a send-off ceremony for the women in Gaborone before heading to the North African country.
There, the Mares will continue their training camp and play three international friendlies against yet-to-be-unveiled teams.
AWCON 2022 will also serve as the African qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup – with the top four teams qualifying automatically for the global tournament slated for Australia and New Zealand, while two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
The 2020 edition was cancelled by CAF due to the Covid-19 pandemic that crippled football activities globally.
BOTSWANA FULL SQUAD FOR AWACON 2022
Goalkeepers: Sedilame Boseja(Mamelodi Sundowns), Lesego Moeng (BDF), Marilyn John (BDF)
Defenders: Bonang Otlhagile (Double Action), Masego Montsho (BDF), Kesegofeste Mochawe (Prisons), Veronicah Mogotsi (Double Action), Nancy Baeletsi (Prisons), Laone Moloi (Double Action) Lone Gaofetoge (Lusaka Dynamos)
Midfielders: Golebaone Selebatso (Prisons), Mokgabo Thanda (Yasa Queens), Annah Sechane(Township Rollers), Leano Atang Busang (Prison), Keitumetse Dithebe (Mexican Girls), Lesego Radiakanyo (Prisons), Balotlhanyi Johannes (Double Action)
Wing Forwards: Keitumetse Dithebe (Mexican Girls) Lesego Radiakanyo (Double Action), Balotlhanyi Johannes (Double Action)
Strikers: Thuto Ramafiki (United States of America), Refilwe Tholakele (Township Rollers), Esalenna Galekhutle (United States of America), Michelle Abueng (BDF), Nondi Mahlasela (Prisons), Ontlametse Gainyadiwe (Double Action)