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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

Ditlhokwe must avoid smugness at Amakhosi

5th December 2023

Kaizer Chiefs, one of South Africa’s biggest football clubs, has been facing a coaching crisis. In the midst of this turmoil, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, a local hard-tackling defender, has quickly become an integral member of the squad. However, despite his impressive performances, Ditlhokwe must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to secure his place in the star-studded team. TSHEPO KEHIMILE explores the potential impact of Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff on Ditlhokwe and emphasize the need for him to maintain his high level of performance.

Ditlhokwe’s Rise to Prominence:

Ditlhokwe’s journey in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) began when he joined Supersport United on a three-year deal from Township Rollers. His talent and dedication quickly caught the attention of the technical team, and he became a trusted member of the squad. In January 2023, he signed a five-year contract with Kaizer Chiefs, one of the biggest clubs in South African football. His performances during pre-season matches against Young African and Township Rollers showcased his potential and promised a bright future at Amakhosi.

The Acid Test:

As the season progressed, Ditlhokwe faced several challenges. His first test came against Chippa United, where he and his defensive partner, Given Msimango, managed to keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw. However, miscommunication between the defense and goalkeeper Riyaard Pieterse led to a 2-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns. Despite this setback, Ditlhokwe and Msimango redeemed themselves in subsequent matches, guiding Chiefs to a 3-0 victory against TS Galaxy and a 2-0 win against Stellenbosch.

The Impact of Coaching Changes:

Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff can potentially affect Ditlhokwe’s performance and place in the team. The departure of Coach Molefi Ntseki, who had shown faith in Ditlhokwe, raised questions about whether the new coach would retain him as a regular starter. The arrival of Cavin Johnson as the interim coach saw Ditlhokwe maintain his place in the starting lineup, but the team continued to struggle defensively, conceding goals in matches against Golden Arrows and Cape Town City.

The Need for Consistency:

Ditlhokwe’s consistent presence in the starting lineup is commendable, but he must not become complacent. As competition for accolades and starting positions intensifies, he needs to work even harder to improve the team’s defensive record. Chiefs’ recent signing of his former Supersport United teammate adds further competition for the starting berth, making it crucial for Ditlhokwe to maintain his high level of performance.

Conclusion:

Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s journey at Kaizer Chiefs has been impressive, with his consistent performances earning him a regular place in the starting lineup. However, he must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to improve the team’s defensive record. The frequent changes in coaching staff at Chiefs add an element of uncertainty, making it essential for Ditlhokwe to prove himself to each new coach. By remaining focused and dedicated, Ditlhokwe can solidify his position in the team and contribute to the success of Amakhosi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sport

BOBA battles turbulences to prime Boxing

5th December 2023

The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) recently organized a successful Boxing National Championships, sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading, with a generous amount of P100,000. This financial support is a welcome development for the boxing fraternity, as it has been almost a decade since such a windfall was received. The championships showcased the incredible skills of boxers like Mmusi Tswiigi, who achieved a remarkable victory by Referee Stop Contest (RSC). However, despite this success, BOBA acknowledges the need to improve and participate in international competitions to increase the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

National Championships Success:

The Boxing National Championships witnessed outstanding performances from various boxers. Mmusi Tswiigi’s victory by RSC highlighted his exceptional skills and determination. Other notable performers included Rajab Mahommed, Maxwell Sechi, Thabang Chakalisa, Kerapetse Segole, Joel Kgogobi, Botshelo Thomologo, Otsile Mogobye, Mompoloki Sebula, Kenaope Boifang, Solomon Motshwarakgole, Keamogetse Kenosi, and Tshephang Moilwa. These boxers demonstrated their talent and dedication, bringing pride to the nation.

The Road to the Olympics:

Despite the success at the National Championships, BOBA Secretary General, Taolo Tlouetsile, acknowledges that more needs to be done to secure a spot at the Paris Olympics. Tlouetsile emphasizes the importance of international exposure for local boxers to gauge their readiness for such competitions. He recognizes that the opponents in international competitions are more active and challenging, making it crucial for local boxers to participate in various international events.

Challenges Faced:

The local pugilists faced difficulties during the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifiers held in Senegal. Most of the boxers were eliminated in the preliminary rounds, with only Keamogetse Kenosi making it to the quarterfinals. The lack of preparation due to financial constraints hindered their performance. The absence of training camps and exposure to international competitions affected their readiness and ability to compete at the highest level.

Upcoming Qualifiers:

To secure a place at the Paris Olympics, local boxers must now focus on the upcoming qualification tournaments. The 1st World Qualification Tournament is scheduled to take place in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from 29 February to 12 March 2024, followed by the 2nd World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, from 23 May to 3 June 2024. These tournaments provide another opportunity for local boxers to showcase their skills and qualify for the Olympics.

The Way Forward:

BOBA National Team Coach, Thebe Setlalekgosi, acknowledges the talent of the boxers but highlights the financial constraints that have hindered their progress. Setlalekgosi emphasizes the need for proper training camps to prepare the team adequately. He expresses his disappointment at missing the International Boxing Association (IBA) Junior World Championships, which could have served as valuable preparation for future boxers. Setlalekgosi proposes a training camp from the first week of December until February to ensure the team is in top shape for the upcoming qualifiers.

The recent success of the Boxing National Championships sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading is a positive step for BOBA. However, the association recognizes the need for international exposure and participation to improve the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics. Financial constraints have been a significant challenge, affecting the preparation and performance of local boxers. With upcoming qualification tournaments, it is crucial for BOBA to prioritize training camps and international competitions to give their boxers the best chance at success. By addressing these challenges, BOBA can pave the way for a brighter future in boxing and bring glory to Botswana on the Olympic stage.

 

 

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Sport

Mares 90 minutes WAFCON qualification

5th December 2023

Crunch time has arrived for the Mares, the women’s senior national team of Botswana, as they face a crucial encounter against Kenya, also known as the Harambee Starlets.

This match will determine their qualification for the WAFCON 2024 tournament, and the fate of the Mares hangs in the balance. Under the guidance of their new coach, Alex Malete, the team carries a slight advantage with an away goal from the first leg.

Adding to their confidence, the Mares received a major boost with the inclusion of newly appointed Zebras head coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa, in their technical team. Da Rosa’s appointment as the Director of Football for all national teams, including the women’s team, shows the commitment of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to support the growth and development of women’s football in the country.

The history between these two teams is not extensive, with only two previous encounters. The last match took place in 2015 during the 2016 Olympic qualifiers. The Mares won the first leg 2-1 but lost the second leg 1-0, resulting in the Harambee Starlets advancing to the next round based on aggregate score.

Both teams have their sights set on making their second appearance in the WAFCON tournament. The Harambee Starlets made their debut in the 2016 edition held in Cameroon, and now they aim to secure their next appearance. Similarly, the Mares are eager to make their mark and showcase their progress since their last participation.

In the first leg of this crucial tie, the Mares faced early attacks from the home side but found their rhythm midway through the first half. Keitumetse Dithebe, an attacker from Gaborone United, broke the deadlock with a goal in the 37th minute. However, the Harambee Starlets quickly responded with a penalty kick just before halftime, leveling the score. The second half saw sustained attacks from the Kenyan side, but the Mares held firm at the back, ensuring the match ended in a stalemate.

The Mares can rely on the experience and skill of players like Refilwe Tholakele and Sedilame Bosija, who recently won the CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns. Tholakele, awarded the Golden Boot, played a pivotal role in her team’s historic triumph, scoring two goals in the final. Her success highlights the significance of her contribution to the Mares’ campaign.

As the Mares head into this crucial clash, they must draw on their collective strength and determination. The opportunity to qualify for WAFCON 2024 is within their grasp, and they must seize it. With the support of their coach, the inclusion of Da Rosa in the technical team, and the talent of their players, the Mares have the potential to rewrite their own history and make a lasting impact on women’s football in Botswana.

 

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