Gaborone United Sporting Club has managed to capture the signature of the on-demand Green Lovers marksman, Moathodi “Sissoko” Ralesota for a period of two and a half years with an option of renewal, ahead of other football vultures, Weekendsport can reveal. In an unexpected twist of events this week, the player who has been highly linked with Extension Gunners with other “big” teams also giving him sleepless nights with offers, the 24 year old opted to sign for the Reds.
However, he will only don the red and white colours of the Old Naledi side when the January transfer window kicks in. While Gunners has been wagging their tail expecting the striker to land in Peleng early next year, those in the know tell a different story. It is said the player has deep adoration for Gaborone United, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Jwaneng Galaxy, something which presented a blur picture on the prospects of him joining Mapantsula.
According to reports from impeccable sources, the player is currently playing without a contract at the Green Marines of Serowe, the only team he has played for, a catalyst which encouraged the Reds to snatch away the lethal striker. Although the deal between the two parties is a closely guarded secret, this publication is informed that the Serowe born talisman will get a monthly salary of P9000 and other allowances which would hike his take home to around P 16000.
Since the player has been schooling In Serowe, what will GU do to assist him in the academics or he is now focusing in football? “ I am not sure, but the contract seems to be silent about academics but it appears he will enrol with BSET because he has graduated and indications are that he will continue with the school,’’ a source who witnessed the development said. The clinical finisher has been doing trade C in Mechanical Engineering at a Brigade and now he is set to do NCC in the capital city.
When GU Chairman, Rapula Okailwe was contacted to confirm the development he said “I am clueless about what you are talking about, but as we go closer to the January window maybe we would be interested in signing some players.” Sources however maintain that Okailwe, together with the team financier, Nicholas Zarkhem where seen with the player in the boardroom.
Ralesota, the current leading scorer of the rookies Lovers and the highest scorer in the elite league will leave a huge void at the rookies as he is the only reliable striker in the books of Onthusitse “Chips” Kootswele. He has also made history by being the first Green Lovers players to represent the nation on the Independence Day. His value as a player has since rocketed ever since he took the premier league by storm upon their promotion which also saw him being voted player of the month in August. In fact he alerted the teams of his talent in the promotional play-offs against Mogoditshane Fighters where he scored to ensure his team qualify for the elite league.
At the reds and the colourful where the player is destined, will he get the game time he has been enjoying at Green Marines? GU has their prolific striker in the Namibian Benson “Ma-fifty” Shilongo and they have also signed the Ghanaian man Appiah and Hendrick “Mopapa” Moyo. This should not put the man who is synonymous with Jersey no 10 under threat as he is more like a traditional number 9 unlike Moyo and the Ghanaian striker who are mobile; he will sweat for the starting berth with the Namibian.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, is eager to lead crunch talks that will consequently see Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) becoming one authoritative sport entity.
The appointment of one Tuelo Serufho to the plum position of BNSC Chief Executive Officer two week ago has further catalysed the intention to merge the sports bodies to avoid the long standing complaints of duplication of roles by the two.
Serufho was replacing Falcom Sedimo whose contract was not renewed.Serufho, ironically is the longest serving CEO of BNOC and also a board member of BNSC.“One of our aims is to form a robust sport body to centralize and improve decision making processes and maybe the time to resuscitate BNSC/BNOC merger is now,” Rakgare briefly shared.
The impending move is highly meant to improve effective functioning, governance and performance of sports in the country both locally and globally.Should this see the light of day, Botswana would have done itself a favour and it would start sending a handful of athletes to international competitions.
The amalgamation of BNSC/BNOC talks have been in the pipelines but discussions were aborted two years ago without clear reasons. The creation of this all-encompassing sport institution is overdue according to the minister.
“It is in fact our mandate to make sure this happens, it is overdue and by next year we hope to have finalised our position paper,” Rakgare added.The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.
In South Africa, the sports ministry facilitated discussions to merge National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
With the South African model well in place, Botswana is urged to bench mark and create a sport body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.The name of the local sport body is mooted and the minister refused to give a hint. But he is optimistic that the body will be the vanguard organization of sport in the country.
He emphasized that the sports organisation should be a purposeful guardian for governance and management of sports and be the required defining figure of the role of sports in Botswana’s communities.Talks to revamp and rebuild these sports bodies come at a time when BNSC is restructuring.
When Sedimo was still at the helm, he wanted to phase out some positions which he felt were unnecessary.BNSC receive close to 53 million Pula as grants from the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports development and Culture empowerment while BNOC takes a figure a closer to that.
Township Rollers is anticipated to spent around P 50 000 to expatriate their foreign based players amid ravaging corona virus threats. The club, in collaboration with the Football Union of Botswana (FUB) tested Francis Afriyie, Fabian Assagou Guy and Kamogelo Matsabu before they can head to their native countries.
The trio are awaiting the results which are all expected to come out negative, following which they will immediately board planes to their various destinations. Afriyie was a Rollers striker from Ghana.
Matsabu, regarded the darling of the club is heading back to South Africa while Guy signed by the club but has never impressed, will board a plane back to Ivory Coast.It is likely that both Matsabu and Guy will return as they are still contracted to Rollers. However, Afriyie will not return after failing Rollers litmus test.
The striker failed to break into the starting 11 of head coach Frank Nuttall for the season and it appeared that frustration got to him. And when it finally knocked him down, the striker in a rough and unexpected remonstration stormed out of the bench while a Rollers game was on.
The former Gho Maria striker penned a two year deal in January and it is rumoured that his contract was heavily incentivized, catapulting him to being one of the highest paid players at Rollers.His end of season departure will now put a serious question mark over Rollers’ recruitment policy.
He becomes the fourth foreign striker to fail the club examinations and released while on contract. Before him was, Mthokosize Msomi from South Africa, Terrence Mandawa from Tanzania and Fabian Mbowa from Ivory Coast. Msomi and Mandawa’s release were sanctioned by former coach Nikola Kavazovic. Mbowa is loaned to Police XI to create space and playing opportunity for the now departing Afriyie.
Releasing Afriyie will now mean that the club’s striking woes continue. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their strikers but they hoped that striker Tumisang Orebonye and other targeted signings, aided perhaps by Edwin Moalosi who remains on the books, could fire an upturn.
However, it was never meant to be as they finished the season second behind league winners, Jwaneng Galaxy.
Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha, is reported to have orchestrated a move that could see mid fielder-cum-striker, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele, being dropped by Leopards.
WeekendSport has learnt that the coach summoned the Zebras former captain to a one-on-one meeting a month ago to relay the bad news. It is reported that Masutha told the player that he is surplus to requirement and therefore he will not be selected for any game unless he opts to leave.
Reports further state that Tsotso was not encouraged to fight for his position but instead was told that there are better players to be tasked with scoring responsibilities and helping the club to dodge the dreaded relegation axe.Ngele therefore is waiting for his contract to expire before plotting his next move. He is said to be torn between playing for one more year in South Africa and coming to Botswana to play for high paying Township Rollers.
The Rollers decision will once again hinge on his private business which he would love to monitor closely. He owns a sports clothing label where he already signed a two year deal with Notwane FC.Ngele’s career at Leopards blew hot and cold. He only enjoyed his stay when his former coach Calvin Johnson was at the helm.
He played in crucial matches and his stunning free kick against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs is still remembered by his followers.However, there have been many other factors at play.It is said Ngele’s future at Thohoyandou- a location where Black Leopards is based- encountered problems of many kinds. His future is believed to have been dulled by injuries and a confidence that strangely refused to bloom.
The player is also said to have broken ranks with Leopards management where he shocked them when playing for the senior national team last year albeit claiming to be suffering from a thigh injury. Ngele had signed a two year deal, but as things stand, the left footed midfielder is heading out as his contract staggers to an end. He is believed to be earning close to R80 000 after tax deductions.
The lifestyle and living conditions at Thohoyandou are also seen as factors that further complicate Ngele’s situation hence the sudden collapse of concentration in football.Ngele is said to be represented by Tim Sukazi who still hopes that the player’s breakthrough career is worth fighting for.
When signed by high spending Mamelodi Sundowns almost 5 years ago, he was represented by Mike Makaab, also a renowned football agent in South Africa.It is growing precarious for Ngele who was chained for longer spells at Sundowns.
But when a move to Leopards was announced, there was a high expectation that the player was nearing his revolutionary season.