Troubled Lobatse side Extension Gunners is said to be preparing to engage assistant national team coach, Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul about the prospect of him taking up the post of deputy to the head coach as the struggle and push to win silverware continues.
Formal talks are said to be in the pipeline and suggestions are that the team intends to reach an agreement before long. The decision to rope in Paul is expected to be part of the solution to current poor performance of the team on the pitch, where even the head coach Dragojlo was shown the door this week.
Although, the possibility of hiring Pio Paul hurts and excites Gunners faithful in equal measure, the Peleng side is said to be eager to take a bold decision after China Matlhaku who has been an assistant aslo fell out of favour with management.
While it is now a palpable fact that the team is losing premier league pedigree with reports of power struggle not helping the situation, a cautious approach is said to have been adopted around the timing of the decision and rightful candidate who can help the team whole heartedly.
As things stand, the team’s deliberation is said to be clouded with fear and doubt that will set in after their conclusion. It has been reported not long ago that assistant coaches who have been roped in by the club often times sabotage the head coach because he does not grasp the English language well. But because he too has been axed, such issues are expected to be tamed.
Gunners considers the next 11 premier league fixtures vital in all respects, the Peleng Side is at cross roads. Gunners has in the past depended more on assistant coaches particularly when the head coach was not available. On the other hand, Pio Paul is said to be drawing sympathy from other high ranking members of the club who believe that he could help place the team in a respectable position.
The team has not won any of the last three games and chances of missing a top 8 spot are highly probable. They drew 1-1 with title hopefuls, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and later lost painfully to league leaders, Township Rollers. The Lobatse side conceded four goals against Rollers. In their following fixture, Notwane deepened their wounds beating them by 1-0, a result that left the head coach under immense pressure.
However, Gunners are hopeful of completing negotiations with Paul soon even though the national Under-23 coach is distancing himself away from the reports. “I do not want to involve myself in other teams’ issues, it is best you ask them because I have also heard that as rumours only,” Pio said when asked about his possible move to Gunners.
Gunners has signed a total of seven new players as an effort to solidify their stand in the elite league. They occupy the ninth spot after 18 games and have collected only 26 points. However, premier league records show that the team has staged an impressive improvement as compared to last year. After 18 games last season, Gunners was sitting dangerously on 15th spot having accumulated only 13 points.
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.