The thinking that four Botswana international players will simultaneously play professional football for the first time is overwhelming than the reality that TS Galaxy who are the buying club, has spent less than P1 million on their transfers.
However, it is encouraging that Botswana football, although unable to flourish, is laden with talent that can produce lump sums of monies if well taken care of. Given the conditions of the local game, the acquisitions of the four players is an encouraging factor and can possibly make sense in a country suffering from economic pressures and 20 percent unemployment.
Mosha Gaolaolwe and Gape Mohutsiwa have been transferred to the South African club at a combined but paltry fee of P 60 000. Both players had six months left on their Township Rollers contract and a deal was struck that the local team will benefit 45 percent of sales should Galaxy sell them to any other team.
The other two players who are transferred from Jwaneng Galaxy are Ezekiel Morake and Thero Sitsile. These are not an extravagant transfers but TS Galaxy have paid P 200 000 for Morake who is the goalkeeper. The 24 year shot stopper had two years left on his contract. Setsile has also penned a professional contract with TS Galaxy paying P150 000 for his services. The left footed winger had one year remaining in his contract. It was also agreed that Jwaneng Galaxy will get 25 percent of sales should the players be sold to other South African outfit.
The signings of these four players should actually make sense if they are to penetrate the South African market. In their own league, they are stars and can be regarded as brands for Botswana football. TS Galaxy is fast providing a business case for Botswana football that fortunes can be reversed. Many times, a handful of Botswana players signed deals with South African clubs but will spend better part of their time on the sidelines, struggling to make a headline impact.
Galabgwe Moyana, Mogakolodi Ngele, Mpho Kgaswane, Kabelo Seakanyeng and Thatayaone Kgamanyane are some of the local players who were snatched by South African clubs, but for some unexplained reasons, the football market quickly spewed them out. There is a hiccup therefore in the purchase of these four players. TS Galaxy is a team plying their trade in the National First Division, a stream of teams that is supposed to feed the premiership clubs. The policy is that each team should only sign five foreign players with three under 23 players fielded in the starting 11.
This means the four Botswana players will have to up the ante or their future with the club mirrors a tomorrow that may never come. TS Galaxy owner Tim Sizuki said, “There is a massive talent in Botswana football, it is only that clubs are not willing to sell but football administrators are only interested in themselves and not clubs.”
Township Rollers, for instance, is a club of vast size and presence in Botswana football. Having won the league a record 16 times, the club obviously commands a large fan base and attracts quality players. It is therefore encouraged to capitalise on the modern surge of commercialization-the art of buying and selling players.
The belief is that players often times pay themselves on and off the field. It can be thorough replica shirt sold or with chunks of tickets sold to watch the players. TS Galaxy has benefitted while Botswana local clubs hope that the players will further be sold for them to make profit. It might be too late. But it can be the beginning.
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.