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Clock ticks on Rollers veterans

Owing to the slow start to the season by some of big premier league clubs, this football calendar year is billed, once again, as a breakthrough period for Township Rollers. Coach Nikola Kavazovic seeks to fully turn the club’s pot of gold into silverware.

Last season alone, particularly after clinching players with vast experience, the expectation was enormous at the Mma Masire side. Eventually, both the BTC Premier League title and Mascom top 8 cup found the space in Rollers trophy cabinet. Also, the club, against all odds, traversed a torrid passage of CAF champion’s league, reaching group stages, for the very first time.

It is in this regard that Tshepo “Talk Talk” Motlhabankwe is hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his injury nightmare. The no nonsense defender has not featured for the team this season owing to undisclosed injuries. This is the first time, in his football carrier that Talk Talk has missed the first five opening games of a season.

However, his absence has not left Rollers struggling. But indications are that he could struggle to return to his full fitness that will see him missing the opportunity to drive Rollers back to glory days, alongside the talent of a gilded top scorer of the club; Joel Mogorosi.

But the teams’ insistency and promise to make a loud impact this season may bear fruits. The duo (Talk- Talk and Mogorosi) is still standing strong and their ambition mirrors a tomorrow that Rollers faithful look forward to see. Built under the multi-million pula project of Jagdish Shah, the players were recruited to embody the present and future of the club. But all of them are on the wrong side of 30.

Both Mogorosi and Motlhabankwe once played for Mochudi Center Chiefs, even though the former was making a second arrival at Palestine after enduring a difficult spell with South African teams. And as it stands, it appears time is speeding them towards the past.  The talent of the big two should make the case for Rollers to again make headline impact, particularly in the CAF competition starting in January. Kavazovic agrees that as a unit they could find an edge as they now top league log standings and this band of serial winners glimpse glory.

The sense all could awaken for the business end is enhanced by their respective pedigrees. Away from the Rollers stage, Mogorosi is a Telkom player of the season with Bloemfontein Celtic in his maiden season in 2013. Before joining Celtic, he won a golden boot with Mochudi Center Chiefs.

Motlhabankwe captained both Extension Gunners and Mochudi Center Chiefs- an instrumental cog when the Kgatleng outfit won the league unbeaten in 2008. However, all that can soon go towards the past as retirement is looming. Mogorosi is still playing and has his eyes set on the top scorer award. On the other hand, Motlhabankwe is not playing but battling injury until full recovery.

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It’s do or die for Zebras

28th March 2023

The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.

The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).

Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.

Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.

Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.


Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.

According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.

“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”


This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.

According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.

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Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society

27th March 2023

Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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