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Monageng Thaele made the most of the opportunity given by FIFPro Division Africa and his players union, by excelling at the inaugural FIFPro Africa Tournament is.

Thaele, a former Extension Gunners left winger, joined the team assembled by Footballers Union Botswana to try his luck at the tournament with the hope of securing a playing career after being off loaded by Gunners. When asked about the effects of the tournament, the left footed player thanked FUB to coming the rescue of players without contracts. For the past three years, FUB have been running this training for out contract players in line with FIFPro’s vision of getting employment opportunities for unemployed players. This year the initiative was special in that local players were offered an opportunity to go for a tournament with other nations.

“This has been a great initiative. As Botswana players we have never got the opportunity to go outside because of certain constraints at various teams. Opportunities such as this one are rare and the only thing one could do is to take advantage of the tournament,” Thaele said.

Thaele’s efforts could not go unnoticed as he was named the best player of the tournament at the just ended FIFPro Division Africa out of contract players’ tournament.

Thaele also impressed the scouts from University of Pretoria alias AmaTuks with his sterling performance during the two games he featured in for FUB. The Pretoria based outfit will be calling Thaele for a close assessment in a week, a move that might earn him a permanent place in the team.

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“As players, we need platforms like this one. You will note that being jobless means training alone but football being a team sport, the out of contract training camp kept us going and ready for any employment opportunity,” he noted. Thaele went further to encourage FUB to look into running the programme beyond the transfer period as some players might not find employment during the current transfer window.

When pressed further, Thaele revealed that the other aspect that the tournament addressed is the creation of equal opportunities for both young and old players who are normally overlooked by clubs during selection.

“I would like to thank both FUB and FIFPro for the opportunity they have provided for players around the world. There is no doubt that the tournament will grow into other markets and offer more opportunities for the players,” Thaele concluded.

The tournament is expected to give out of contracts players an opportunity to continue showcasing their skill and potential for club coaches to note and possibly consider signing them.