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Gunners could light up the league


Extension Gunners have so far in their opening two games managed to collect maximum points, currently they are perched beautifully in position three. This has cultivated much euphoria for fans in the football scenes as one of the most followed teams is off to a great start. Can the Peleng giants maintain the momentum and have a say in this season’s premiership?


The last time Mapantsula won the league was two decades ago in 1994 when they were still called LCS Gunners under the mentorship of Zimbabwean Zumi Ndlovu. In 2009, under the tutelage of the charismatic Daniel “Chico” Nare, they secured a top four finish after a long struggle.

After the sacking of Nare in 2011, Maxwell “Malume” Moyo took the reins eventually landing them at the top, with the Coca Cola Cup silverware. That was the last time Guna-Guna fans had the bragging rights in local football. However soccer analyst Molatlhegi “Octopus” Mangole has said that even in this campaign “gunners can secure a top four bracket but it depends on the management”.


Perhaps Mangole is right as Gunners is a team prone to office backstabbing, especially at a time when they are doing well. According to the RB2 analyst, “the team supporters claim to have the technical knowhow and the executive committee seems not to have a stand to control the diehards since they can vote them out of office if they try to protect the coach.”

Right now as the team is doing well there are some supporters who are not happy with the way coach is playing his cards especially with Amos “Shoes” Godirwang, as they prefer Kemmy “Gweru” Pilato. The return of Jomo Moatlhaping has also rubbed some supporters the wrong way-they want Tshegofatso Daniel Chimuku to always play!


Nonetheless, minus the politics, the team is one of the most supported the fans are always thronging the stadiums, this could definitely be pivotal in their campaign. Like they say, fans are the twelfth player and Gunners, when doing well wherever they are will always have their legion of fans follow them wherever they go. If their supporters, who at times become so raucous could focus on their duty of giving the team courage it is likely to do well. It is well known that should they do well they could have bearing on who wins the league as they are very stubborn when they face boastful rivals like Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.


Although many could argue that it is still early to say how the league will end, Gunners, without the office bickering could soar on and secure a respectable position. The team is under the tutelage of their 2009 local gaffer Keitumetse “Pio” Paul. Since his arrival at the side, the team is not displaying their traditional possessing style.

This season’s Gunners are aggressive and can adapt power play if there is need. Paul is a maverick coach who doesn’t want interference in his job; testimony was witnessed when he expressed his discontent while at national under 23 where he was ultimately fired. He boasts of a decorated CV having worked in South Africa with some top coaches like Ted Dimitro.

The 43 year old former Rollers striker could be what the doctor has ordered for the team, after long time of finding it difficult to even make it in the top eight. He has revitalised the way the team plays, and while he is still trying to see the final combinations, what is more important now is they are bringing results. This could mean after finding those combinations the team could be untouchable.


The team unlike in the past seasons has depth as they have acquired services of some players to strengthen their side. Oabile “Lali” Makopo, Odirile “Deco” Kgaodi, Godirwang, Boitshoko “Bai” Zikhale, Mogomotsi “Jafta” Mokoka and the silky Chimuku and Bonno “Hlezha” Mosea who was signed last season from Lesirane City are some of the new signings.

They only lost Katlego “Sissoko” Keobake and Tshepo “Mahindra” Maikano. In their opening away game against Sankoyo Bush Bucks, Mogobagoba fought fiercely from behind to win 2-1 and in the following weekend, second half goals from Mokoka and Zikhale ensured the team continued with their impressive start. From the two games former Nico United and Letlapeng striker Mokoka managed to find the back of net in all the occasions.

The South-African bully striker Mokoka together with captain Monageng “Mnike” Thaele, goalkeeper Wagarre “Wax” Dikago, and Desire “Sweswe” Bafana are expected to lead the team to a robust crusade this season.
Efforts to get hold of the team chairman Kitso Dlamini were futile as his mobile was off.

WeekendSport wanted to unearth the team’s targets and their partners this season. Investigations however show that a worrying factor could be lack of financial support for the team as Cassim Dada who sponsored it last season seems to have tightened his fist this time around.


The team is expected to unveil the new kit for this season soon. Today (Saturday) they are away to FC Satmos, next weekend they will host rivals, Gaborone United. They will then face Orapa United before locking horns with Miscellaneous. Maybe the temple they have over the years been building is finally coming up? Only time will tell.

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Sport

Bright set to join Sua Flamingos

25th November 2020
Major David Bright

Major David Bright is set to be announced as the new coach of Premier league rookies, Sua Flamingos, who parted ways with their coach, Raizor Tsatselebe, last week after a fall out over players’ welfare.

Bright, who is currently coaching first division south outfit, Holy Ghost was interviewed for the job this week with three other coaches and is said to have agreed to a contract in principle. Sua Flamingos Chairman, Tirelo Thebe was mum on the issue insisting that the deal will be announced at the right time when both parties have put to pen everything.

“What I can tell you is that next month we will announce our coach and he will have time to prepare our team as we aim to not just be at the top league for one season but we want to compete as we are a team that aspire to be one of the top teams in Botswana and one day compete in international CAF games.

Yes Bright is one of the people we are considering so you need to understand that negotiations are private and can break at any time but we hope for the best,” the team Chairman said in a telephone interview.

Bright is also one of the decorated local coaches having coached premier league sides such as Gaborone United, Township Rollers, BDF Xl, and in South Africa where he coached Cape Town Santos, Bay United and Black Leopards.

Bright has also coached the Zebras before they roped in Algerian coach, Adel Ambrouche who is the current Zebras coach. It is to be seen as to whether the management of Sua Flamingos will be able to work smoothly with David Bright who is a man who does not tolerate interference with his squad.

“It’s surprising that the team fired Raizor as he was seen to be more on the side of players and now they are bringing in a coach who doesn’t even tolerate interference from management and very strict on both management and players.

I mean if they have a problem with strict coaches why bring another strict coach? They could have brought in a coach who can listen to them more as management because they want to be in control of the team and everything,” said a source at the club.

“The delay is said to be because Bright has asked for him to be given chance to rope in his preferred assistant coach and management asked to be given time to consider his request as they are not comfortable with the issue,” continued the source.

Sua Flamingo Santos have returned to training and are led by care taker coach, Kopano Computer Phakedi.

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Sport

GU bolster squad ahead new season

25th November 2020
GU Player

Botswana Premiership League outfit, Gaborone United (GU) were the first to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 beMobile Premiership champions.

The success came after almost two decades without winning the league title. In a title decider played at Molepolole Stadium, Moyagoleele defeated the defending champions, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, by a solitary goal courtesy of Wellington Maposa.

That was the last time the money machine was crowned the league champions. Just nearly 10 years after breaking a curse of going two decades without tasting league victory, The Reds have regrouped in a bit to return to their former glory days.

GU is currently the busiest club in the transfer market as they are bolstering their squad ahead of 2020/2021 football season.

The Money Machine have secured the signatures of Mothusi Johnson and Karabo Phiri from the Debswana-sponsored giants; Orapa United and Jwaneng Galaxy respectively.

WeekendSport has since established that both players have signed three-year contracts with the Reds. The club is now under the guidance of business mogul Nicholas Zakhem who is their chief financier.

Moyagoleele’s prodigal son, Phiri, returns to Old Naledi after spending two seasons with the current 2019/2020 BTC Premiership Champions Jwaneng Galaxy.

Phiri was signed by former Jwaneng Galaxy coach Miguel Da Costa during 2018/2019 season where he became their regular player. Phiri has also won the 2019 Mascom Top 8 champions with Jwaneng Galaxy.

Since then, 25 year old has earned himself several national team calls.

Another player who returns home is none other than the ever impressive defender Mothusi Johnson. The 23 year old Zebras defender joined Orapa United from the Money Machine during 2018/2019 season.

However, prior to the elapse of his two year deal with the Ostriches, it was reported that he previously turned down two offers from Orapa United arguing that they did not represent his worth.

Another reason why Johnson turned down two offers from Orapa United was because he wanted to move abroad but later realised that it was going to be difficult for him find a team after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 23 year-old Johnson made a name for himself on the field of play after he was nurtured by Argentinian coach Rudolf Zapata while at GU. Orapa United Spokesperson, Kabo William confirmed with this publication that Mothusi Johnson will be a Gaborone United player.

“Yes, Mothusi bid us a farewell saying he’s joining Gaborone United. His contract had expired. So we are just waiting for GU to make a request for his clearance,’’ William said.

Former Motlakase Power Dynamos and also Mochudi Centre Chiefs defender, Thato Kebue has left Jwaneng Galaxy after the end of his contract and it has been reported that he signed a pre-contract with the Money machine according to impeccable sources.

The 23 year-old defender joins Galaxy from Magosi during the 2017/2018 season and just like his former teammate Phiri helped his former side win the League and also the Top 8 tournament.

Gaborone United are reportedly keen on signing Jwaneng Galaxy defensive midfielder Lebogang Ditsile. The Reds want to compete for top honours next season and they feel Ditsile can bring the competitive edge they need in the middle of the park.

Meanwhile reports coming from Moyagoleele is that the club is planning to take their caretaker coach to complete CAF A coaching licensing before offering him a new three-year deal.

Moloi made headlines beginning of this year when teams questioned why Botswana Football Association (BFA) allowed him be the head coach for GU while he is holding a B license coaching qualification which only enables him to sit on the GU technical bench as an assistant coach.

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Sport

Gov’t reviews Sport Policy

17th November 2020
Netball

The Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, has expressed its underlying desire to reawaken and improve sport policy.

This is also in line with the declaration made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week about the need to improve sport performance in the country.
The sport policy was first enacted in 2001 when the Department of Sport and Recreation was under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.

The review of this policy is expected to commence soon and strive to address all socio-economic problems bedevilling sport. The examination will start from the elements that speak to the direct processes of national dialogue of sport and come up with recommendations for improvement.

As things stand, the Sport Ministry has coordinated a task force to deal with the taxing issue of school sports where teachers have downed tools demanding special kind of payment for partaking in extracurricular activities. The government through various means has been made aware that sport forms an integral part of the country’s vision.

If the policy is finally revised, the country and other stakeholders will eventually achieve national development, unity and continued economic growth. “The national Sport Commission Act is also being reviewed to facilitate sport to contribute to the economy through commercialization and professionalism, as well as to improve the welfare and the rights to our sportspersons,” Masisi said in his address.

The review will once again take a long route of extensive consultative processes where critical factors were initially identified as continuous constraint to sport development. There is a wide ranging view that sport is solely for recreation. This anomaly is fast becoming a matter of yesteryears as more athletes are making a living out of sport.

In October of 1997, a discussion paper on sport policy development was prepared. At the time, the workshop brought together policy and decision makers. The discussions precisely centred on issues of sport participation and development. Participants included among others, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and National Sports Associations.

There was the discovery of limited funding in sport and poor sporting facilities in the country. This has negatively impacted on the performance of national sports associations, particularly on the global stage. As a measure to this problem, the government has decided to build 10 mini stadia to up participation and performance.

In 2001 when the policy was formulated, there was an agreement that the national guiding principles of democracy, development, unity, self-reliance and botho are cardinal to the development strategy of socio-economic development planning. The Ministry believes that sport and recreation in Botswana have a close relationship with all these national principles.

When speaking to this publication, the Chief Executive Officer of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho said there is indeed an overwhelming appetite to improve sport performance and participation in the country.
“Yes we need to engage both BNSC and BNOC to improve and review the sport policy more because it has been overtaken by time…it needs to be aligned with modern sports trends,” Serufho briefly shared.

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