Township Rollers might have won a forth premier league title in a row, but the struggle to keep their head coach in still on going. Fresh information gathered by WeekendSport indicates that the team management is desperate to re-unite with award winning coach Nikola Kavazovic.
But talks remain frozen as club chief financer and also president Jagdish Shah feels Kavazovic is not the right man. Sources claim that Shah is set to overrule the decision of the committee without further giving adequate reasons. Shah is said to have adopted the same stance when appointing current coach Rudolph Zapata despite the resentment of his committee. It is said Shah’s relationship with Kavazovic had broken down irretrievably before the Serbian coach jetted to Frees State Stars of South Africa.
In his two- year stint with Rollers, Kavazovic won domestic double; league title and Mascom Top 8 cup. He was later poached by Freestate Stars to help salvage the team, unfortunately his philosophy was not tact enough as Stars was relegated to the lower division. The coach has since been sacked by the club. While Rollers is secretly trying to cajole their former gaffer, there are some shocking reports that Kavazovic is being eyed by local football association to succeed the fired Major David Bright.
The possibility that Rollers, currently first in the Premier League under the not so firm stewardship of Zapata , may not mount a serious challenge for this year ‘s CAF competition had been mooted as a potential catalyst to Nikola's return. While that would have serious and or little implications for the club's attempts to balance the books where finances is never an issue, sources close to the negotiations have suggested that Kavazovic would actually not be discouraged from joining the side should the team fail to win the double again. Indeed, he could consider it an even greater challenge.
Nevertheless, with reports saying he has buried the hatchet with Rollers management, other obstacles still need to be cleared if his desire to return to the club materializes. Principal among his concerns is the amount of power he would be permitted to wield at the Gaborone giants, reports suggest.
The sudden fall out he had with management and some senior players of course turned few heads, although he did not want to admit it at the time, he was equally frustrated. And if he is to return, Kavazovic would have to accept the existing structure in place at the club particularly that little has changed after his departure.
It remains to be seen whether the coach will accept the Rollers hierarchy, despite the acceptance that further significant squad strengthening will take place in the next coming transfer window. Reinforcements however will be made in the central midfield and in defense particularly if the ever reliable Mosha Gaolaolwe and promising Gape Mohutshiwa are to leave the club for Nedbank cup winners TS Galaxy.
While Rollers will only publicly address the coach situation once the season is complete, discussions have been taking place for some time behind the scenes and the club has sounded out potential replacements for Zapata who will be the fourth coach to be sacked by the club. Zapata‘s contract does not expire until the end of June with reports claiming that his stay will never be extended.
When reached for clarity, club spokesperson Phempheretlhe Pheto acknowledged that Zapata’s contract is coming to an end but he also denied reports that link Nikola back at the club. “Yes it is true that Zapata’s deal with Rollers is about to expire and we will sit down with him to negotiate way forward, but as of Nikola it is still news to us,” he clarified.
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.