While the curtain for 2015/16 season has yet to close owing to administration lapses that characterized the spell, preparations are already underway for the upcoming season with teams already searching for players to bolster their squads.
Notably, in this silent transfer window the rat-cat race to snatch the signature of former Township Rollers striker, Jerome “Jay-jay” Ramatlhakwana ensues. The 31 year old striker is clubless following Rollers’ decision not to renew his extension contract from DRC’s Don Bosco.
“We decided not to renew his contract simply to comply with the 25 man squad quota,” Rollers Secretary, Khumo Masonya said when responding to Weekend Sports inquiries regarding the player’s contract extension.
The experienced striker, who was pivotal for the Zebras maiden 2012 AFCON qualification after scoring five goals, reportedly has Orapa United, Gaborone United (GU) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs scrambling for his signature. The trio after monitoring Jay-Jay’s career reaching the all time low with Rollers last season is convinced that he is a man who in the right team can change their fortunes as they all aim at challenging for honours next season.
Buoyed for his eye for goal, positioning and the ability to take defenders head on, ‘The big animal’ as the striker is normally referred to, is said to be seen as Thabang Sesinyi’s partner at the ostriches’ nest next season. Having worked with Madinda Ndlovu in the past, the Zimbabwean has proven to be the admirer of the holding striker. Besides, sources say the prospects of Tumelo Madzebedi leaving Orapa United have fuelled the aggression and persistency of the ostriches poaching system to dangle an irresistible carrot before him.
As for Magosi who are reportedly on the brink of losing both Tendai Nyumasi and Lemponye Tshireletso to Orapa, they are prepared to fight with everything to acquire the services of their former marksman. Ramatlhakwana is also being considered to fill the void left by the prolific Kekaetswe Moloi who has since joined rivals Extension Gunners.
“There are lot of players that are linked with us but we can’t say anything now because we still have a playoff hurdle which we had to focus on then we can start our recruitment drive,” Clifford Mogomotsi, Chiefs Communications Manager said.
Ailing Gaborone giants GU, are also monitoring the developments with keen interest as they believe the striker could be what the doctor has ordered for them more so that they are likely to lose their Namibian striker, Benson Shilongo. The Reds are reportedly leading the chase for the striker and are applying the “never make a noise” tactic to detract their competitors, the team’s chairman, Rapula Okaile said.
However all the teams looking for the services of Ramatlhakwana will have to travel all the way to Lubumbashi in DRC to negotiate with Don Bosco as the player is still contracted to the club until next year.
On other transfer news rookies Security Systems and Gilport Lions are reportedly after Gunners defender, Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile who Mapantsola are not willing to lose anytime soon. Lovemore Morirwa who has been released by Orapa has attracted interest from Mahalapye United Hotspurs, according to sources. The ostriches are also said to have parted ways with both Madzebedi and midfielder Simon Mashaza. Lebogang Ditsile is also expected to return to Rollers next season, while Tapiwa Gadibolae and Obonye Moswate’s contracts have not been renewed and can look for any team next season.
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.
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.
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.