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Bright irked by sidelined Ngele

Senior National Team Coach, Major David Bright along with the  Botswana Football Association (BFA) are contemplating engaging  Mamelodi Sundowns’ head coach, Pitso Mosimane over the conditions of play of star player, Mogakolodi ‘ Tsotso’ Ngele.

This came to light following the announcement of the Zebras team that will play the Independence Day celebratory tie against The Walia Ibex of Ethiopia. The local football body and the coach believe that Ngele, as a senior squad player is supposed to play regularly so as to benefit his country at the end of the day. “I will engage the association to assist us in talking with Pitso Mosimane; we are of the view that Tsotso has to be conditioned to get back to his level best. His absence deeply troubles us,” Bright said.

Ngele’s situation with former African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns has grown precarious since his glittering stay in South Africa. He joined the moneyed Pretoria based outfit three seasons ago after scintillating showing with Platinum Stars. Sundowns, who showed interest in the pencil slim striker, have surprisingly given him only a few minutes on the pitch before loaning him to Bidvest Wits a season ago. Pundits say it is a sign that he is not needed. He was first believed to be part of the deal that saw striker Sibusiso Vilakazi moving to Sundowns from Wits. But later it emerged that Ngele was on a long season loan.

The talented Botswana player however continued to be on the upward trajectory at Wits and rightly so, was one of the fundamental pieces of the Wits squad that won the league last season. But as fate would have it, Ngele was seemingly not part of Gavin Hunt’s plans for his squad. The Wits coach has since allowed Ngele to return to the Tshwane outfit, and worryingly, the player with a dangerous left foot, has not featured for Sundowns thus far. It is reported that he is training with Sundowns reserves.

He might not admit it, but it appears that the former Under 23 coach believes that Mosimane is ill-treating Ngele. Before the close of transfer of players late in August, it was speculated that Ngele might be heading to another South African giant, Orlando Pirates, but no one knows exactly what happened in the days that followed. Ngele is one of the players who once stormed out of Zebras camp after a heavy fall out with former Zebras coach Peter Butler, but a few weeks later, the soft spoken youngster apologized for his way ward attitude.

Although Ngele’s strength of character cannot be underestimated, Bright believes that Mosimane should be consulted to help in Ngele‘s situation. Bright gave the player the captain’s armband a few months ago when Zebras played Mauritania in the group stages of AFCON 2019. Tsotso’s performance on the international stage cannot be doubted. But since his move to Mamelodi Sundowns, psychological aspects to his play have always been on the rise.

…I also need Nato

Coach Bright is also concerned about the hibernation of experienced midfielder Ofentse Nato in football. The 28 year old player is not attached to any team-something which is giving Bright a constant headache. “I have met him and we are still going to meet to understand why he left the national team, because it’s silly things which can be corrected,” he said. The Zebras coach believes Nato is an important cogwheel in the national team considering the fact that the backline is always caught wanting. “I still need him in the team, he is an important player. I have advised him to join a stable team maybe in South Africa because age is catching up with him,” Bright said on Wednesday morning.

The maverick coach who will be playing his third game dismissed the Indian Super League where Nato has been plying his trade at. “The Indian league is more like a constituency league, you play three months then break and without any competition for that matter. It’s not good for a player of his calibre but we need him in the team.” For a long time the player has not been playing actively, save for training sessions he had with Gaborone United. Size 10, as Nato is fondly called was dismissed from the national team camp by Peter Butler who pointed indiscipline issues as the main reason.

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Cooper, Galaxy deal explained 

7th December 2021
Cooper

This week, the 2019/2020 league champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, announced the signing of former Lusaka Dynamos midfielder Mothusi Cooper for a period of six months.

Cooper, a 23-year-old versatile midfielder, terminated his contract with Lusaka Dynamos a few months ago due to unpaid salaries and signing-on fees. Cooper had joined the Zambian giants from Township Rollers.

In an interview with this publication this week, Tankiso Morake, Galaxy Public Relations Officer (PRO), said their head coach, Morena Ramoreboli, recommended the club to bolster their midfield.

“We felt it was necessary for us as Galaxy to increase our depth in the midfield; fortunately, Cooper was available since he has been declared a free agent,” Morake alluded.

“It is an advantage for us as Galaxy to sign a player of Cooper calibre, though we are not saying we don’t have good players. We just wanted to give the coach what he wants and also add more depth to our squad,” he said.

“It will grant coach more quality players since we are playing the CAF Championship group stage, the league games and also the Orange FA Cup.”

According to Morake, the deal favours both the player and his agent, as it will give the 23-year-old the opportunity to attract interest abroad due to participation in the CAF Championship group stages.

When contacted for comment, Bakang Moipone, who is the player’s agent, said: “The intention was never to go for a local move, but the most unfortunate thing is that as much as we had offers from other teams in Zambia, South Africa, and North Africa and also trying to poach something from Europe, it is challenging to find a foreign player slot during the January transfer window.”

Furthermore, Moipone revealed that the clubs which were interested in his services did not have the foreign slot available to register the versatile midfielder.

“We concluded by saying the player cannot wait until June without having a club; hence we opted for a local move for six months knowing that we will be able to get a club during the winter transfer window,” the player agent noted.

“We received several offers from local teams such as Rollers, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Galaxy, and it was him (Cooper) who chose Galaxy since they have qualified for the CAF Championship group stage as he believes it will give him international exposure and also create more options for him for an oversea move.”

Moipone highlighted that the move to Galaxy was not monetary. The ultimate reason was for the player to gain match fitness while anticipating moving abroad in June to further his professional career.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the former senior national team head coach Adel Amrouche is had secured a lucrative deal for troubled Zebras star Cooper.

The player, recently on Lusaka Dynamos books, is anticipated to move abroad once the 2021/2021 season ends.

The club’s name remains unknown, but sources speculate that the player will land in a team based in Belgium.

Cooper will be the third player whose overseas move is masterminded by Amrouche after secured deals for Kabelo Seakanayeng and Tumisang Orebonye to Olympique Khouribga, a club based in Morocco.

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Sport

F/town Chess tourney returns with improved prizes

7th December 2021
Chess

Despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 scourge to the chess fraternity calendar of events, the First Capital Bank Festive Chess Showdown tournament returns this year with improved prizes.

The tournament, which started in 2019 with a sponsorship of P22 000, will proceed with this year’s an increased backing from P42 000 to P50 000. The adjustment prompted the organizers to increase the prizes across sections. Scheduled to take place in Francistown from the 11th-13thof December, the tournament has seen a steadfast growth in sponsorship and attracting high profile players during the two years.

According to the event organizer Thapelo Molefe, the total sponsorship amounts to P49 945, a gesture that allowed them to increase prizes by 14%. The prestige section, which generally attracts highly rated players, has a top prize of P4200, an increase from P3600, while the open section got a P1000 increase to P3000. The ladies section now attracts a prize of P2000 from the previous P1800. However, the Under 18 and development section awards remain unchanged at P1500 and P300.

“The deal is solid and beneficial to both parties so that it won’t stop anytime soon. We have a telepathic understanding with the bank; they have social responsibility at the core of their business. There isn’t much of a difference except the increase in prize monies. Foreign internationals have always graced our events in numbers, and we look forward to having them again in our third installment of this magnificent undertaking,” said Molefe.

The last edition was won by Gaasite Sebetlela and WCM Refilwe Gabatshwarwe in the open and ladies section, respectively, while Monnatsheko Keletshabile emerged the champion in the prestige section.

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Sport

P700k for GU players

7th December 2021
Gu-Players

Morale inside Gaborone United camp is high with the team oozing with confidence and licking their lips to lift the Orange FA trophy, as the team has been assured to share the P700k first prize amongst themselves should they win.

The promise was made by the club Chief financier Nicholas Zachem earlier this year as part of motivating the team following a long spell of football thirst and hunger. The players and the technical team are looking at the big carrot that has been dangled before them and have never looked back.

GU has been marauding other teams, going down for the first time 1-2 against BDF X1. The Innocent Morapedi and Pontsho Moloi mentored side is currently on 2nd position on the league log with 15 points after six games, only a point separate them with log leaders Township Rollers.

The Reds are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and are facing stubborn Jwaneng Galaxy in what could be a litmus test for them. Their in-form forward Thatayaone Kgamanyane is expected to lead the attack to eliminate Galaxy and face either Township Rollers or Masitaoka in the finals.

The high flying club has managed five clean sheets this season, with their goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko even voted player of the month.  “It’s a great feeling to have been chosen as player of the month. The award will motivate me to perform to my level best in every game. As much as this award is mine, I would like to thank my teammates who have contributed immensely in ensuring that I keep those clean sheets,” said Phoko after pocketing P1000 cash for his toil.

GU Brand and Marketing Manager, Herbert Letsebe said the club decided to introduce monthly awards to motivate players. “This is a build up to our end of the season awards where will crown player of the season and other individual awards,” he said.

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