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Rollers ‘galactic’ attitude will destroy football


Township Rollers is once again team of the moment in the current transfer window, their obsession with singing superstars is unmatched, just seven months ago they signed several others. They are not letting down again this time, but are all the signings necessary, obviously they cannot field all the players. A lot of young talent is made to rot on the bench with fans denied the opportunity to witness their skill and the new talent.


It was not surprising at last weekend’s Kabelano spectacular when fans, including those of Rollers kept asking about the lanky jersey number 4 attacking midfielder who mesmerised the crowd with his touches. What they didn’t know was that “Jersey number 4”’s name is Letumile “Ramadan” Molebatsi and that he has been with Mapalastina for the whole of last season after moving from Notwane.

Coach Mark Harrison should now and then introduce a whole new team as he did at the Kabelano finals, just so that the hidden names come to the fore!


Molebatsi is one of the few players at the Rollers camp who have had little to no game time, but as testimony from last weekend would have it-he is quite talented. What of the others who are yet to be fielded, one would wonder.


Rollers has stockpiled so many players they probably don’t know where to put them any longer. The problem now is that the already established players will always get fielded, of course. Surely they signed all the players based on their skill and talent. They should consider using their tried and tested players for marketing activities and give the others a chance, that way it’s a win-win for all.


So far Township has acquired former Supersport United captain, Mogogi “Manchester” Gabonamong and Galabgwe “Gululu” Moyana from rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs. As if that was not enough, they also went on and signed ex Sankoyo Bush Bucks captain and defender Modiredi “Zokora” Matengu together with the Briton striker Carl Finighan to reinforce the team ahead of the new season.

Meanwhile the team is expected to finalise the negotiations with goal minder Kabelo Dambe, while they already have three goalkeepers, also should Joel “Fire” Mogorosi fail to find a team in South Africa he is expected to rejoin them too.


The arrival of Gabonamong will automatically mean Lawrence “Tico” Majawa will face some uncertainty in his play time, despite his impressive showing ever-since his arrival at the club. Majawa was able to give popa shape and protect their always wanting backline, he has proven to be one of the disciplined anchor men in the league.

Nevertheless, the Malawian international is reported to be on the want list of Gaborone United since he is uncertain about his future with Popa. The same thing is expected in the midfield especially in the wings.

Motsholetsi “Viva” Sikele’s Kabelano hat trick was a hint to the new coach but judging by the available options in the position he may just fall out of favour. The Lobatse born player together with Kobamelo “Swere” Kebaikanye have every reason to be insecure because of the dynamics at the camp.

The arrival of the Masunga born Moyana and the prospects of Lotlhakane born Mogorosi together with the silky captain Sekhana “Chicken” Koko is likely to leave them disadvantaged because the management will want them to play as they command huge salaries, so they will have to match their billing by playing.


As for the young talents of Sikele, Kebaikanye, Tapiwa “Navara” Gadibolae and Gofaone “BDF” Tiro who is expected to hand off jersey 17 to Moyana, they will end up as wasted talent the country could benefit enormously from.

The other disaster looming in the goalkeeping department would be Dambe joining the camp next season. Already there is Noah “Top-dog” Maposa, Mwampole Masule and Keagile “Skhenza” Kgosipula. The arrival of the Tutume goalkeeper will in paper mean Kgosipula is out while the battle is expected to intensify with the remaining trio.


Kgosipula has been in the national set-up and now is the perfect time for him to play in the elite league. The only solution will be for him to go on loan, but the problem would be if he loaned to a first division team. The likes of Simisane “Inspector” Mathumo, Otlantshekela “Ntsoni” Mooketsi, Thato “Yellow” Bolweleng and Kaone van-Der Westhuizen are also likely to have a tough time securing fist team berth.


Michel Pillar is another victim in waiting, but the team should at least loan these young players to teams where they can have game time rather than leaving them fallow, and eventually to fade due to lack of game time.

However the ball is in Harrison’s court to juggle, maybe he will be able to alternate the players consecutively and still reap positive results like he did over the weekend.  


Mapalastina lost the league last season simply because of having too many players. The players were not easily be managed and they failed to catch on to Madinda Ndlovu’s system. In the end there were some misunderstandings within the team with players like Kebaikanye demanding “new and better contract” because the new acquisitions were paid a lot compared to them. A repeat could be in the offing, and the team could eventually be divided.


Meanwhile, the team begins their campaign next weekend against BDF XI at the national stadium at 8PM.

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Sport

GU bills Rollers over player sale

29th September 2020
Thatayaone Ditlhokwe

The mega transfer of one Thatayaone Ditlhokwe from Township Rollers to South Africa’s SuperSport United has left Gaborone United (GU) desperate for the ‘purchase benefits’ and the latter has consistently phoned Rollers to pay back their share for supposedly grooming the player.

Ditlhokwe, a former GU defender, was sold to SuperSport at an estimated fee of P 2 million late last year. When the sale was negotiated, and it was agreed that GU will receive at least 15% of the sale, sources say.

This therefore means Rollers has to pay GU P 300 000.

According to reliable sources, Rollers is yet to process GU’s benefits because SuperSport United is taking long to complete the transfer fee. However, Jagdish Shah, the financer of Rollers, is said to be ready to pay GU’s dues as soon as the time is right.

In any case, it is said the two clubs are fighting a boardroom brawl. Regarded as the fiercest cross town rivals, GU was incensed to lose Ditlhokwe to Rollers in the first place. The underlying scuffle, to date, is catalysed by misplaced documents and trust that has grown seriously thin between the two clubs.

It is said that GU cannot find the contract between Rollers and SuperSport so as to officially bill their claim. Sources put it that GU had written twice to Rollers asking them to forward a copy of the said contract.

In the first instance, it is said that Rollers cooperated and did as GU requested. However, GU is said to have lost the contract and went back to Rollers for another copy. Rollers according to sources then refused to budge. There are claims that GU is now stuck in one place.

Rollers media liaison Phemperetlhe Pheto said it is difficult to talk about contracts to third parties. He however implored GU to avail the contract for them to claim their fees without doubts.

“I am disturbed to talk about contracts of players to media but bear in mind that we cannot act when GU is failing to submit what they have as a proof,” he said.

When Rollers tried to sign Argentinean born gaffer, Rudolph Zapata, three seasons ago, GU fought tooth and nail to block him from joining the ranks of their number one enemy. They delayed to release his work permits accusing him and Rollers of sinister motives.

To this date, GU is livid that Rollers nearly paralyzed their camp when they recruited striker Tumisang Orebonye, defender Jackson Lesole and the very same Ditlhokwe, to offer them lucrative contracts.

Just a year ago, the fight between the two clubs almost took a nasty turn. It started when GU wrote to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) questioning the coaching credentials of Rollers former coach, Frank Nuttall, together with his assistants, Leutwetse Tshireletso and Zachariah Mudzazi. Then, GU was seen to be shifting posts when consistently asked to rectify the situation involving their coach, Pontsho Moloi. It was found out that Moloi was not fit to coach in the elite level according to the requirements of club licensing.

But as things stand, GU will count on the words of Shah, whom many football administrators label as a ‘man of integrity.’

Ditlhokwe signed a three year deal with SuperSport last year. The 22-year-old helped Rollers to lift the Botswana Premier League trophy in the 2018/19 season and was rewarded with a national team call up.

The Botswana international played an important role for his side in the 2019 COSAFA Cup in South Africa as captain, Ditlhokwe also helped Zebras finish 2nd in the tournament losing to Zambia in the final.

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Sport

Molepolole stadium to be refurbished

29th September 2020
Molepolole-stadium

The Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture Development has agreed to refurbish the dilapidated Molepolole Sports Complex.

The development consequently means premier league teams and local clubs will not be able to utilise the facility in the upcoming season.

The stadium with a carrying capacity of 6 600, was earmarked by premier league rookies Masitaoka as home-ground.

The ministry has further revealed that the stadium will need a budget of about 5 million Pula to relay the turf and renovate a water drainage system that has worn out.  The contractors are expected to commence work in the not so distant future.

The pitch surface is artificial and was first installed in 2008 at FIFA’s request and the presidency of Philp Makgalemele.  In 2010, it was chosen as one of two host stadiums for the COSAFA Under-20 Challenge.

“We have funds to refurbish the Molepolole Stadium for two main projects; the relaying of turf and renovation of water reticulation system.  The stadium will therefore be out of   bounds   when   contracted   companies   begin   their works,” the Chairman of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) confirmed.

The Ministry of sport is further expected to file a communication with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development notifying them to start a monitoring exercise when the renovations begin.

The reconstruction of this stadium and others is however feared to coincide with the long intention of the government to improve sport infrastructure throughout the country.

Earlier this year, the sport ministry has also requested a budget of about P 33 million to renovate and improve the VIP lounge of Francistown Sport Complex, now known as Obed Chilume stadium.

The President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, said the government continues to improve sporting infrastructure as part of the grassroots sport development programme. He said this in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) two years ago.

This financial year, P50 million was allocated for the construction of 10 community sport facilities or mini stadia, around the country.

“These will be basic sport facilities for youth recreation, and will consist of boundary wall, an artificial turf, soccer pitch and changing rooms with ablution facilities,” he said.

The facilities are earmarked for Tonota, Mmadinare, Bobonong, Tutume, Kasane, Goodhope, Kanye, Rakops, Tsabong and Moshupa.

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Sport

Moloi negotiates terms with Masitaoka

29th September 2020

Enterprising midfielder, Dirang Moloi, is in talks with premier league rookies Masitaoka Football Club about possibilities of joining as a free agent, having last played for troubled Extension Gunners last season.

Moloi, touted as the best midfielder of his generation, is said to be ready to hang his boots but not before playing for Masitaoka, the promising outfit whose administration is now the envy of other premier teams, especially the older ones.

However, it appears that there is a stumbling block as Moloi is requesting for conditions that are beyond the club’s reach. Moloi, with a substantial premier league experience, where player wages are not always guaranteed, wants to partner with the club through his side businesses to make profit.

Sources say Moloi does not desperately yearn for a monthly salary, but wants some benefits as the club makes money through other means.

Operating as a football company, Masitaoka has plenty of sponsors and it is why Moloi wants a share of the profits for each replica jersey the team sells. He also wants the club to partner with his security company to further rake in profits rather than waiting on a meagre salary that is not certain especially during turbulent periods of corona virus. This, according to sources may weigh heavily on Masitaoka’s situation that consequently will collapse the talks.

All the while, it is said Moloi will no longer be a first-choice selection but Neslon Olebile, the team’s head coach, hopes that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players.

Masitaoka have always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their hunger to sign Galabgwe Moyana in the next season is rooted in part, by what he could bring away from the field.

Moloi, some reports say may join partly on probation and eventually sign to play as the season goes on, but not to inspire, as he once declared he is about to quit Botswana football.

The club sources however say that there is no option built into the deal for him to join them with non- football conditions.

Masitaoka are however desperate for Moloi’s services and will want him to bring calmness and stability to a side that has begun to dream big. The Molepolole base outfit is eyeing a spot in the finals of Orange FA Cup. Once football resumes, the club will play against Calendar Stars in the quarter finals.

Moloi has won a handful of trophies and medals during his salad days at Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers.

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