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Black Forest defies the odds

Premiership rookies, Black Forest football club has given the elite league a new dimension – both on the field of play, and at the stands. The team’s playing philosophy of possession football has left fans begging for more.

As things stand, there is every reason to bestow them with the best supported team accolade in the BTC Premiership. They have silenced critics and rubbished a lot of football analysts.

At the beginning of the season, football pundits and armchair critics dismissed the Mmankgodi based side, the reasoning was, it had not signed quality players and did not have financial sponsors.  In their imagined scripts, Magoleng should be last on the league log now. However, with three games played thus far, team Magoleng has fed the doubting Thomases humble pie.

Forest put a spirited show against defending champions, Township Rollers which was only undone by unfortunate goalkeeping from Michael James hence they ended up playing to a two all draw. The team also played a goalless draw against Gaborone United before humbling the fancied Gilport Lions 2-0. This nonetheless has not gone to their heads, ”Yeah we see the road, but we can’t be excited yet, there is a long way to go and players can be so tricky, they play well against the big guns then fail against minnows. For now we need to be focused and deliver on our mandate of surviving,” team Chairperson, Stanley Kekobilwe cautioned.

Credit for a ‘good show’ by far has many stakeholders involved, but most importantly the 12th player. Ever since the death of staunch Township Rollers supporter, Samuel Rakgowa, the local game has been missing these crazy moments on the stands, but Forest supporters are bringing back the memories. The Forest supporters’ creativity has so far made the impact that would challenge the heavyweights’ diehards.

According to Kekobilwe, as the team starts weekly training sessions, supporters also embark on rehearsals ahead of weekend encounters. “Every week they prepare for what they are going to perform over the weekend.” Whereever Setshweneng plays the passionate supporters always brandish a huge placard with bold BLACK FOREST letters. Attending a Black Forest game, one is assured to witness colourful supporters decorated with the green and lime colours of the team all over their bodies. For many years, this passion has been lacking in the local game, it was a preserve of other African clubs in foreign countries only available on television.

“I like their supporters. They make football interesting,” BFA acting CEO, Susan Lawrence, briefly conceded to the charm.

“This is great motivation to us as the players whenever we think of slowing down and we see these supporters we get courage and it forces us to do more. We are very thankful of their contribution,” said Mogomotsi “Goms” Kerebotswe, the team captain.

This fan madness according to local authorities has helped the constituency to record low numbers of crime.

“When we are playing everyone leaves the village, only the elderly and kids remain, and what is interesting is that ever since we played in the league, crime has reportedly decreased because we took away idling community members to the stadiums,” Kekobilwe added.

For now the team is focused only on surviving the relegation axe, however, should things work in their favour, they will explore chances of a top eight finish and perhaps winning the title.

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