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Cosmos, Maritzburg interested in Kgaswane

Following the release by Baroka FC in favor of Zimbabwean Rodwell Chinyengetere, Mpho Kgaswane is reportedly attracting interest of both Jomo Cosmos and Maritzburg United. Kgaswane and other foreigners became release casualties as Baroka enter a battle to survive relegation. The team is currently occupying the 12 spot with 14 points in the PSL table.

Kgaswane who is managed by Siyavuma Group has the two teams managing his interest while he was with Baroka; on the other hand Cosmos have long declared their interest on him before he could join the Limpopo side. Not only the two, but Kgaswane could join his home-boy Lesenya Ramoraka at Highlands Park. The player according to sources has been identified by Owen Da Gama scouting mission on numerous occasion and might as well join the club.

Informants say, the new Maritzburg coach Muhsin Ertugral has admired Kgaswane during his early days with Baroka but could not make an offer. But now after getting a job and with the transfer on, the German coach believe it is time to pounce on the dribbling wizard. Kgaswane proved to be one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in the BTC premiership during the 2014/15-16. The winger's vision, passing and dribbling skills are his exceptional skills. Baroka signed Kgaswane in 2017 after his move in 2016 miscarriage and he never disappointed, by then it was under the tutelage of the fired Kgoloko Thobejane.

During that period he started for the team 12 times, substituted in 15 of those while he sat on the bench only once. The Manyana born dribbling maestro who operates in both wings found the back of the net four times with one assist. This made him an important asset for the Limpopo based side. The departure of the speedy Kgaswane leaves his compatriot Onkabetse Makgantai as the only Motswana there. Baroka’s other foreigners are Elvis Chipezeze, Talent Chawapiwa, Makgantai, Abi Banda

For this season alone the 25 year old managed to start seven times in league, substituted five times and two times sitting on the bench. He has one league goal; he scored in their 2-1 win over Cape Town City. Kgaswane’s presence cannot be underestimated as Baroka have never lost when he was on the field. The club has lost three games; two while he was on the bench and the other one when he was not in the match day squad.

The statistics shows that the player managed by Siyavuma has never been on the good books of the new coach Nyirenda.  He got most of this season’s first team starts before Nyirenda took reins. The player was once quoted saying the coaching change could be responsible for his side's slow start to the season. "On Baroka's side I would say maybe it's the new coach and new players, us trying to adjust to the changes.

"So far so good because he's a coach that likes ball-playing players," Kgaswane told KickOff.com. "I will say it doesn't take a day to understand the type of play the coach wants, but for now I will say it's getting there … even the way the team plays you can tell. All in all I will say now we understand his philosophy. He likes those players that believe in themselves, ball-playing players and hard-working players.

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Sport

GU wins title after 13 years

23rd May 2022

Gaborone United was this week crowned 2021/2022 Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions following their 1-0 win over the holders, Jwaneng Galaxy. Thero Setsile’s 13th minute’s goal was enough to seal the league championship, ending 13 years of drought from the Old Naledi outfit.

With two games to go before the top-flight season wraps up, Gaborone United opened a seven points gap to second placed Township Rollers having accumulated 63 points from twenty eight games. The Money machine were the first team to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 be Mobile Premiership champions, that came up with P1 million as prize money. Thereafter the club has been on the league drought as it could only manage winning Coca Cola FA Cup in 2012, Mascom top 8 twice in 2013 and 2015. They also won the Orange FA cup last season.

The return of Zackhem as the club financier signaled a new era with a number of galactic signings for the 2021/2022 season. The team brought into their fold big names in local football; Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Joel Mogorosi. The arrival of enterprising left wing back Mothusi Johnson, dribbling wizard Mpho Kgaswane and hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele made the job easier for the coaches.

Attacker Onkabetse Makgantai also joined the marauding attackers in Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Thero Setsile to make their front line combination the deadliest in the league. Both Kgamanyane and Setsile have netted 34 goals this season with the goal minder Goitseone Phoko keeping 20 clean sheets thus far while conceding just 10 goals. GU is still on the Orange FA Cup race and football commentators believe that they are the favorites looking at the quality of their squad.

As it stands should the Money Machine win all their remaining games, they stand a chance to equal the highest championship winning points record of 76 points which set by Mochudi Center chiefs during the 2007-2008 football season. That record stood for 14 years and Gaborone United could equal that feat should they win their remaining games against Sua Flamingos and struggling Notwane. The Money Machine made the bold statement begging of the 2021/2020 football season when they won 11 games straight games without even conceding a goal.

The Reds, who are under the guidance of Innocent Morapedi, a seasoned coach and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has been consistent in the title race. In the process, the Old Naledi side has scored 59 goals while conceding the least goals (10 goals) and has a superior goal difference of 49 goals. Gaborone United success breaks Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs dominance as the only teams to have won the league title more than any other club in the last 13 seasons. GU’s proximity to money and talent were key this season.

Domestically since GU last won the league title, Mochudi Center Chiefs have won it three times; whilst the most decorated football club with 16 titles, Rollers has been dominating the league, winning five titles on the spin in five seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19.  Last season, Jwaneng Galaxy was crowned champions for the very first time due to being at the top of the table when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be prematurely halted with ten games to play.

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Sport

Softball returns to play

23rd May 2022
Softball

After two years of no action across various sports codes including softball, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) is going back to the grounds to resuscitate the sport.

This weekend all roads lead to Selibe Phikwe for the top eight ladies championship. The eight ladies teams comprise the top four ladies teams from the south and north regions. They will then come together and form eight teams and battle it out this weekend at the Phikwe Softball Grounds and Area 2 Mowana Ball Park. The competing ladies teams are Titans, Police, Vikings, UB Giants, Rail giants, Scramblers, Carats and Ghetto Yankees. The champions will be crowned thereafter.

Softball Association Public relations officer, Boingotlo Marope explained that this tournament is not only for ladies, she said men’s championship will be held at Gaborone on the 28th May 2022.  She said they have noticed that everything is confined to Gaborone as their headquarters in the southern region. As a result they have decided to take other activities to the northern region as well. “We are trying to grow softball, we don’t want everything to surround Gaborone only which is why the ladies tournament will be held at Selebi Phikwe in the northern region to bring equality.”

However, she explained that the reason they were missing in action is because of Covid 19. “We saw government cautionary trying to protect everyone by putting certain restrictions as spots had to stop for 12 months, we welcomed 12 months to protect Batswana. As a results that lead to the closure as there were no games”.

In addition Marope said they currently don’t have sponsors however private sector has always come through. Bofinet has to cut the sponsorship but that is not due to Covid 19 crisis. “Bofinet has showed commitment, they promised that as soon as they are settled they will come to our door knocking again,” she added.

Marope further said as a results they rely on their tight budget. Few of players has been sponsored, some has to dig from their own pockets, some parents cannot sent their children as some had to quit. “We have worked with our tight budget to assist teams and hoping that in the coming season we can have somebody to assist”.

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Sport

Botswana ranked 4th in Zone 4 boxing tourney

4th May 2022
Boxing

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.

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