SPORTS WRITER Following the introduction of the new Botswana Premier League award dubbed bePlayer of the season where football lovers vote for their own player of the season, Gaborone United (GU) has emerged as the leading team with many of its players in the top ten bracket of the newly launched award.
The reigning two time Mascom Top 8 champions currently lead other teams as they have four players whom football followers are rooting for as player of the 2014/15 season.
Amongst the front-runners for the top award is the young lad Goitseone Phoko. “Chichima” as he is popularly known graduated to Moyagoleele’s number 1 trusted at the goal posts after the departure of Noah Maposa. The under 23 goalkeeper is also a nominee for the goalkeeper of the season award.
Another youngster vying for the Beplayer of the season is Mpho Kgaswane. The left footed former Flamingo Santos midfielder is viewed by football enthusiasts one of upcoming local stars. Kgaswane’s scintillating performance has also earned him an under 23 national team position under the tutelage of Keitumetse “Pio” Paul.
Ofentse Nato and Benson Shilongo also find themselves amongst the current top 10 players who are just a stone’s throw away from clinching the lucrative award. Nato who will be returning to his Indian side Athletico De Kolkarta at the end of the season has always been United’s strong man in the midfield. However, his teammate Shilongo who is currently featuring in his first season locally has been Moyagoleele’s messiah upfront.
He has been netting goals for Rahman Gumbo’s side and he finished at the summit of the Mascom Top Goal Scorers with 5 goals.
Other award chasers are Lesego Galenamotlhale, Pontsho Moloi coupled by Lemponye Tshireletso all from the league champion’s camp. The trio has been instrumental in Coach Mike Sithole’s side. Dirang Moloi and Segolame Boy are also in the Top ten race. However, Orapa United’s on form striker Hendrick Moyo is the only player from the northern team in the early runners for the P20 000.00 award.
The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited General Manager -Marketing Pilot Yane said that as the sponsors they are pleased to see the public becoming part of the elite league. “We are extremely excited to have the public participation in the selection of this award. There is a huge excitement around the end of the season gala event and by participation in this promotion, the general public has the opportunity to feel included when the event is broadcast live on Botswana Television,” stated Yane.
Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer Bennet Mamelodi also did not shy away from expressing his excitement and hailed the newly introduced award, “the league is on a constant upward trajectory, we are improving and together with our faithful sponsors we are looking forward to football fan participation in identifying the player that shone the most for them,” said Mamelodi.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.