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Rollers to over-haul ageing squad

Contenders to the BTC premiership throne, Township Rollers, are planning a winter of change in over-hauling the current ageing squad, to accommodate youngsters.


WeekendSport is reliably informed that a new dawn is looming, with intentions carefully mooted to cut down salary wages incurred by the club’s multi -millionaire investor, Jagdish Shah. It is reported that Joel Mogorosi who deputises Maano Ditshupo, club leading top goal scorer, Terrence Mandaza and veteran Mogogi Gabonamong are some of the players anticipated to be booted.


There are also thoughts surrounding the cases of defender, Tshepo Motlhabankwe and midfield king pin, Lawrence Majawa, but the management is believed to be adopting a more cautious approach with regards to their issues. Motlhabankwe is planning retirement at his own will and this has swiftly driven the club into a terrain difficult to manoeuvre, as it will struggle to identify his perfect replacement. This according to club sources will push Rollers to negotiate with the former Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Extension Gunners defender for a possible stay.


Identical to Motlhabankwe’s scenario is Majawa’s who is likely to be given a one year contract extension, although he divides Rollers’ opinion, sources have indicated. The name of winger, Motsholetsi Sikele also cropped up and it is believed his lack of commitment at the club is the reason for his looming departure. Senegalese born striker, Pape Abdul Ndaw, is also being monitored by the club management. There is a belief that he was not given adequate game time this season. He and Sikele are among the few whose future at the club remains uncertain.


Meanwhile, the club is also set on cutting costs and their starting point, according to sources, is players’ salary wages. Mogorosi and Mandaza are said to be earning around P25 000 each, Ndaw and Majawa each earn close to P18 000. Built under the multi-millionaire project of Shah, the players were recruited to be an embodiment of both the club’s present and future. But all of them are now on the wrong side of 30. Motlhabankwe is 37; Majawa is 36 while Mogorosi and Mogogi are both 34.


Information reaching this publication suggests that the club will target both Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United where it intends to plough talent from. The talent of these players, along with striker, Terrence Mandaza, who is also above 30 should make the case for Rollers to finally make headline impact, particularly that they are leading the log standings, although having fallen out of the CAF competition and Mascom top 8 finals. Coach Mogomotsi Mpote agrees that as a unit, they could find an edge and this band of serial winners can get yet another glimpse at glory.


Impact players at Rollers
Mandaza


The striker is leading as top goal scorer with 12 goals. The team has scored a total of 43 goals from 21 games, and there is no doubt that Mandaza’s impact has been felt. Having returned to the club after spending a torrid time with Maritzburg United, Mandaza, at his prime, wrote his name into Rollers folklore.


He remains the only striker to have scored 40 goals in a season in all competitions. He found the net 31 times in premier league games and 9 goals were scored in the coca-cola cup tournament. This was captured during the 2010 season. But this season, there is doubt that the Zimbabwean striker will replicate his previous form hence the decision to part ways with him.


Motlhabankwe
Often times named ‘The Good Shepherd,’ Motlhabankwe has been the pillar of strength for the Mma Masire based side. A defence marshalled by him and Mogogi has leaked 14 goals in 21 premier league matches.  As a right full back, Rollers has profited more goals from his attack. His ability to turn defence into attack is the prime reason Rollers find it difficult to cut ties with him. He has a vast experience after captaining both Gunners and Chiefs; he formed a fundamental part that saw chiefs winning the league unbeaten in 2008. A similar form and performance carried him into the Rollers fold. He demonstrated maturity all the way.


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


Mogogi has also led South African power house, Super Sport United to finals of the Nedbank Cup in 2012-13 season against Kaizer Chiefs. If fully fit he might have swung the game Super Sport’s way. Majawa has been the most consistent player of all in Rollers squad; it betrays logic why he was never called to represent his country of birth, Malawi. Rollers media liaison Phempheretlhe Pheto said;”that some of the contracts of players are coming to an end, and when this was discovered, we found out that such contract involves senior players, it is not like we are chasing players.”

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Sport

BPL NOT profitable – FIFA

19th April 2021
BPL

A study conducted by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has revealed that a turnaround strategy is needed to make an elite league body, Botswana Premier League (BPL), a profitable entity.

The study piloted in June and completed in December of last year, depicts a picture of possible improvement where a total of 16 premier league clubs were examined and studied on how they conduct their football related businesses.

It comes out that 54% of premier league club revenue streams are from general sponsorship while a paltry 2% is generated from gate takings. A further 11% of profit is from broadcasting rights and that remains abnormal in a game that should be well known to be propelled by rich television agreement worldwide.

Moreover, BDF XI, Gilport Lions, Extension Gunners, Miscellaneous, Morupule Wanderers , BR Highlanders, Police XI and Prisons XI have all demonstrated a heavy reliance and dependence on sponsors, prices and monthly grants, while the quartet of Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United, Township Rollers and Gaborone United have all managed to source revenue streams outside the common and well known sponsor outlets.

Of all the 16 premier league clubs, Jwaneng Galaxy emerges as the top club that is able to attract moneyed sponsors. The study shows that the Jwaneng outfit rakes about P 5 million in sponsorship revenues, followed by their ‘rival brothers’ Orapa United who receive an approximation of P 3 million per football season.

The two clubs are at the fore front because of the footsteps and presence of Debswana in their leadership radar.Coming third is Security Systems whose purse get around P 2.5M from the parent company, GU is on fourth spot at around P 1.5M. Township Rollers is on a distant fifth position with about P 1M per season of individual sponsorship.

The rest of the clubs receive services in kind such as accommodation, playing kits, training kits, fuel and water and soft drinks. This further underlines the struggle to make profit as footballing team in the elite league, the study highlights.

However, from the report, it emerges that only Township Rollers has the capacity to make profit from a good football season. Much of the club revenues are from the sale of its replica jerseys. The club as powered by Jagdish Shah sells about 3000 replicas at a value of P 350 000.It is the only club that sells merchandise from sport chain stores (Studio 88) and according to the report, it is a reliable indicator that shows fans engagement level with the club.

While it emerges from this study that ticketing revenue has a low weight on club’s revenues varying from 2-9% depending on the club, Rollers again is the only club making profit from this front.

But to further underscore the issue of lack of business sense in the elite league, it comes to the fore that there is low fan attendance per home game and this is the major cause of low ticketing revenue.

Gunners however top the table, averaging a total of 5000 supporters per game. Gunners is followed by Rollers at 4000 followers while Miscellaneous comes third with 1700 fans per home game. On average, it shows that 75% of clubs have a fan base while the remaining 25% have absolute nothing.

The report further indicates that many of Botswana’s elite clubs are experiencing financial difficulties because of the model of ownership.
“Clubs legal entity form is not homogenous and 25% of them are owned by the government,” the report shows.

The report therefore recommends that clubs should standardized ownership models as this will lose dependency on government.“Furthermore, legal conditions will be the same for all clubs and transparency of the BPL will be enhanced,” the report curtailed.

However, BFA says it knows nothing about the report but one member of the executive committee says the association is addressing all problems bedevilling Botswana’s game.

The member is adamant that all administrative loopholes of the game will be resolved and it is why FIFA project time for change is still on going at regional level.

8 – Numbers of clubs that make financial losses
4 – Clubs do not depend on gate takings
1 – club is self-sustaining

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Sport

Rollers rejected Ngele

19th April 2021

Nikola Kavazovic, Township Rollers’ pragmatic Head Coach, is said to have scuppered a move that was to see Botswana international Magokolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele joining the club in this football calendar.

Instead, the player proceeded to join Limpopo province based outfit, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila F.C. carrying a long face.

It is reported that Shah, the club’s investor, had wanted to sign the left footed midfielder to bolster an attacking front but Kavazovic flatly refused to sanction the move, adding that his squad is solid and strong even without Tsotso Ngele.

According to reports, Ngele was to be offered a contract with a salary scale of P 40 000. Shah believed, and still holds the same view, that Ngele’s name is a powerhouse that was to further market the team and increase its brand awareness in Botswana’s business community.

However, Kavazovic is said to have told some members of the technical team that it is always difficult to coach and manage players who are favoured by Shah.

Ngele is reported to be nostalgic and would want to play for a home team in the stature of Rollers. As things stand, he is not enjoying his stay at Thohoyandou and it explains why his appearances at the club are an oddity.

Ngele had a successful season with Roller in 2012 where he won the Mascom Top 8 Cup under Mike Sithole. He was expected to be guided by Kavazovic to help mount a serious challenge for this year’s silver ware.

Rollers on its own have reshuffled their attacking options over a period of time, losing darling striker Joel Mogorosi to Gaborone United while another robust striker Teenage Orebonye was poached by clubs abroad.

Before the arrival of Kavazovic, Rollers’ technical team bitterly complained last season about the lack of productivity from their attackers but they hoped that the ever-consistent Edwin Moalosi and Ngele, aided perhaps by Segolame who remains in the books, can fire an upturn.

All the while, it is said Ngele will still force his move to Popa and there is hope that his personality and experience will eventually serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players like Kago Monyake.

Rollers have always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their signing of Mogorosi few seasons ago was rooted, in part, by what he could bring away from the field.

Rollers still wish that Ngele could cut his stay and further negotiate with Kavazovic to sign the player and bring a country wide spread inspiration and determination he possessed after carrying the club to its inaugural top 8 edition in 2012.

That year he won the golden boot playing as a second striker. When he left Rollers, we went straight to command a starting line up with Platinum Stars. A year later, he won the Telkom knockout player of the tournament.

Some members within Rollers fold argue that Shah knew right from the start that he was not going to be able to control Kavazovic and his wishes of signing Tsotso might as well disappear on the furthest horizon.

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Sport

Dambe, Tsotso dump Zebras

12th April 2021

Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.

The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.

It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.

Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.

Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.

Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.

Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.

Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.

A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.

Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.

He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.

“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.

Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.

However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.

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