Drago, Tshosane front runners for GU job
Former National Team Coach, Stanley Tshosane along with Serbian tactician, Dragojol Stanjolovic have both been interviewed for the Gaborone United coaching job. One of the two men will succeed frustrated Rudolph Zapata who is has since joined the Kenyan league.
Highly placed sources at the team told WeekendSport that the club is toying around the thought of employing one of the gaffers following a thorough recruitment drive. Sources further say both coaches are neck to neck and the club is hopeful that the appointment of any of the two experienced coaches will not attract back lash.
Tshosane is seen a master strategist who wrote his name into local football folklore when he took the senior national team (The Zebras) to AFCON finals in 2012. He has won a couple of domestic titles with army side, BDF XI. However, Stan left domestic football in 2014 after protracted contractual disputes with local federation, Botswana Football Association. Meanwhile, it is said the troubled Gaborone outfit’s eagerness to reunite with Drago on the one hand, the next season would not be deflected even if the club is divided on the way forward.
Drago was once employed by United, first as a Technical Director and later as its head coach. Despite the club's very secret courting of its former coach in the aftermath of the fall of controversial yet talented Zapata, there remains the possibility that Prisons XI mentor Philemon Makhwengwe could compete for the post as he too, has been contacted. Makhwengwe won the 2012 Coca- Cola cup with GU.
It is also understood that GU continues to sound out candidates. Though Drago is said to be confident he will return to the club where he spent a trophy-barren turbulent spell of a few seasons, the pendulum could swing to other candidates. The possibility that GU who finished fifth in the Premier League under difficult conditions, may not mount a serious challenge for the coming season’s honours had been mooted as a potential obstacle to Drago’s return.
While that would have serious and or little implications for the club's attempts to balance the books where finances has been a major issue in the last season, sources close to the negotiations have suggested Drago would actually not be discouraged from joining the side should the team fail to climb the league log again. Indeed, he could consider it an even greater challenge. He went to Rollers and turns around the fortunes of the club that later won double title.
GU has said it will only make an official announcement once the appointment has been completed by the club management. Whoever comes on board will have a mammoth task re- building a team that has now lost 8 talented senior players to other rivals in the league.
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It’s do or die for Zebras
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.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
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.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
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
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.