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Galaxy cajoles Portuguese coach

Portugal born Coach, Miguel Da Costa has agreed personal terms with premiership heavy weight, Jwaneng Galaxy and is reported to have been given a two-year contract as the club’s measure of seriousness to win championships in the coming season, WeekendSport has been told.


The 38 year-old gaffer is believed to have arrived in Botswana sometimes last week and Galaxy will make an official announcement before the season commences. Da Costa is also expected to pen down a two-year deal after defeating former Gaborone United (GU) mentor Rudolph Zapata to the Galaxy hot seat.  Ironically, Da Costa won a league with Vipers Sports Club of Uganda last season but was fired as the season came to an end.

 Da Costa's Vipers also reached the final of the Ugandan Cup, where they were defeated by Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club (KCCA FC), now playing champion’s league football with Township Rollers. "I can confirm that after looking through several things as the club goes through a restructuring process, we have parted ways with Da Costa," Abdul Wasike, the club's spokesman told Ugandan reporters. The club has also paid him compensation since he had not served his full contract.

"Da Costa joined Vipers in March 2017, and also helped the club to the quarter final of the CECAFA Kagame Club where they were defeated by Gor Mahia in Dar es Salaam,” Uganda media also claimed. Despite the club's very  secret courting of the Portuguese coach, there remains the possibility that Zimbabwean tactician Madinda Ndlovu could compete for  the post as he too, is retaining much adoration at Jwaneng for his sterling performances with Botswana football, notably with Mochudi Center Chiefs, Township Rollers and Orapa United — where he never failed to win a silverware.

It is not yet clear if Da Costa will gladly accept the Galaxy offer, but what remains unchallenged is the fact that he has proven his mettle with Ugandan clubs and his ‘ feel’ for African game is unmatched. All the while, Galaxy is cautioned to treat issues of coaching with the seriousness it deserves. Two seasons ago, they sacked award winning coach Mike Sithole for undisclosed reasons. This season, they appointed Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic but his stay was as short as a hobbit.

The dents that ultimately bashed his reputation altogether, came when Galaxy fell way short in their domestic title challenge and limping out of the Champions League in the preliminary phase. Krmpotic has protested throughout that in leading Galaxy back to the top of the country’s game after years in the wilderness, he could have not achieved all that could be expected of him.  He might have also lamented Galaxy’s lack of impact in last year’s close-season transfer window, having seen good players failing to come to his team and veteran player Boitumelo Mafoko on the side-lines for a long time and later announcing his retirement from the side he faithfully represented, even when the chips were down.

 All the while, there are unconfirmed reports that there is a lot of interference from the management of Galaxy which inadvertently gave Krmpotic and Sithole the leverage to lay the blame for these setbacks squarely on the club’s board for moving too slowly in making decisions.
Tebogo Sembowa, Terrence Mandaza and Patrick Kaunda found the net not more than 20 times all combined.  Mandaza in particular has not gone beyond 10 goals in the league this term.

Creative midfielders Olebogeng Malebye and Tebogo Sosome have been lacklustre, while Thero Setsile and Thabo Leinanyane are no longer the rocks upon which Galaxy founded last season’s cup triumph. Even the goalkeeper‘s form, Anthony Gous has dived. Arguably the best goalkeeper in the last two seasons, Gous has produced a number of poor performances, with high-profile blunders in games against Township Rollers and Orapa United. Krmpotic’s man-management has also come under scrutiny, and things were further complicated when he could not wrestle the league from Rollers even when numerous opportunities presented themselves. It is now time for the new coach to offer another dimension.

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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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Mascom Charity Cup raised P500K

4th May 2022
Mascom Charity Cup

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.

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Golden boot race intensifies

4th May 2022
Sesinyi vs Kgamanyane

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.

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