Defending champions Township Rollers have sacked uninspiring Czech Republican, Tomas Trucha and instantly replaced him with Frank Nuttall. The arrival of a new gaffer was announced this week but the Scottish agreed to sign a six month contract because Rollers felt ‘ he is too expensive to purchase.’
WeekendSport moles are adamant that Rollers were desperate to hire a coach who could easily coax a winning combination. Having experienced a bad start under Trucha, Rollers management feared that the club would lose out on major silverware this season.
When approaching Nuttall, Rollers were not sure of his market prize. The team was rather shocked to realize that Nuttall’s value was more than what they anticipated.Sources claim that Nuttall was first given P80 000 offer but he out- rightly rejected it. He however gave Rollers management a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition only to be contacted a week later that he will receive what he wanted. The Scot is believed to be earning around P 150 000 per month and it is why he signed a short deal.
The two agreed to a 6 month contract because Rollers still believe his worth is too high. However, the recruitment panel was convinced that the gaffer had to be adequately satisfied at the negotiating table for him to bring optimal results in the field of play. Rollers want him to win the league and also clinch the Mascom Top 8 Cup. A review is set to be made at the end of the season to determine his future. It is said Rollers want to play champions league football, and by all means possible, Nuttall has the experience to walk them through the champions’ league storm. Nuttall is by far the most experienced foreign coach of the African game to be hired by the Rollers. This discovery now means that finances have, once again, played a critical part in the thinking of Rollers management.
However, observers do not necessarily doubt the ability of Rollers to pay a foreign coach such a huge salary, but cast aspersions over the deliverables set for him. There is a feeling that his salary far exceeds the set targets, which are arguably within easy reach for a coach of his caliber. Rollers ran helter-skelter before settling for Nuttall. The club first contacted former coach Nikola Kavazovic but he rejected them without giving specific reasons. They then knocked at Peter Butler’s door who also refused to join them. Butler who is the former head coach of The Senior National Team, The Zebras, said he is no longer interested in club football. But he could not miss the opportunity to express misgivings and uncertainties about Botswana football.
Butler said the game has taken many steps backwards and no one is interested in coaching in the country. He however referred Rollers to Nuttall who also made his expectations clear. According to Nuttall’s coaching resume, he first started as an apprentice at Celtic in his playing days, released in 1987 and found himself without club. He decided to study Physical Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University and went to Loughborough University to get a Master's degree in Sports Science. At age 24, he made and started in his career by doing coach education for the Welsh FA and working with their Under-14 and Under-15 sides.
In 1998, he became a fitness coach for West Bromwich Albion F.C. However, he could not return as a player, so he decided to pursue a more propitious managing career by getting an ‘A’ License and Pro License. Rangers F.C appointed him as fitness coach in 2004. He was part of their backroom staff when they won the league 2004-05. Later, he was Assistant Manager of Al-Nasr Dubai SC but he was unable to settle in his new job and his family could not come so he left after a period of time. Soon after, he did some scouting for Middlesbrough and joined their backroom staff as fitness coach in 2008. Some years later, he worked in China as a coach for the national team and clubs there. Looking for a club in 2014, he eventually joined Gor Mahia, champions of the Kenyan Premier League and this was the first time for him to serve as head coach. Under his stewardship, he led the K'Ogalo to an unbeaten league title in 2015, an achievement never done before in the competition since 1976. Adding to this, the Scot guided them to KPL Top 8 and Kenyan Super League titles in 2015, besides winning the league in 2014 and 2015. As a result of his efforts, the former Rangers fitness coach was named 2015 SportPesa Coach of the Year.
When he was with Gor Mahia, he rebutted rumors that he was intent on leaving Kenya’s most profitable club in late 2015. However, he had a poor relationship with the Gor Mahia President and the board, the deterioration in the relationship started when the President requested that his (Nuttall) salary be reduced by 50% but could not reconcile him to accept it. Owing to fan pressure, he was again appointed as Manager albeit temporarily but they went five games without a triumph under him at the start of 2016.
Over a salary dispute with the Gor Mahia board, he was officially fired from the club in early 2016. A few days later, he was offered a three-room apartment in Nairobi from the club but declined, saying that they were 'substandard’. After a tumultuous one-month period as assistant coach for Zamalek he was sacked by the club in May 2016 and has expressed regret over his premature dismissal.
Following the end of his contract as assistant coach of Zamalek, Nuttall joined Ghanaian outfit, Accra Hearts of Oak in 2017.He has attended the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations to scout for potential players.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.