Maposa’s arrival automatically means the talent of Michael Pepukani and Bobby Mathe will be wasted
Township Rollers is currently the team of the moment in this transfer window as they are the only side so far to make ‘big’ name signings. This has seen them stockpiling their arsenal which has subsequently created insecurity to some players, especially the youngsters in the team. Why so many signings? KETUMILE RAMATITI dissects this issue and the possible outcomes.
Although their unbeaten run of 42 games came to an end last weekend, courtesy of Police XI, Popa is arguably the best team in local football thus far. They are currently perched at the summit of the be-Mobile premier league they won last season and they are also in the semi-finals of the Mascom top 8.
However, the team continues to lure in new players despite an impressive performance by their existing squad and to make matters worse they sign players who have long reached their peak.
Mapalastina are busy building their galactic, they have acquired the services of Tshepo ‘talk-talk’ Motlhabankwe and Jerome Ramatlhakwane. On top of that, this publication is reliably informed that Noah Maposa is on the verge of finalizing terms with them and they are busy negotiating with their former anchor man Mogogi Gabonamong as well as Dirang Moloi. Is this the end of youngsters’ route in the team and the current players?
The arrival of Talk-Talk has raised more questions than answers as to how will Madinda accommodate him in the team system. In their 2-1 loss to Police, Madinda opted for Talkie in the left back leaving out Otlantshekela Mooketsi who failed to even win a position on the bench.
This has left a cloud of uncertainty hovering around some player’s heads like Pako Lekgari, Thato Bolweleng, Mooketsi, Bogosi Kaekwe, Kgosietsile Shadrack and Simisane Mathumo as they risk being released, loaned out or left to rot in the stands.
This has attracted bad criticism from football commentators who contend that this will kill local football in the long run because young players will never be given a chance to play first team football despite the importance of development being preached daily.
‘’Rollers are out of control and their signings will kill our football in the long run; just look at young players who risk losing game time because of their signing spree,’’ argued Duma fm analyst Tebogo ‘Seganka’ Monnaatsie.
With other stars like Moloi in their books there is a high possibility of instability in the team which can cost Ndlovu his job as players can at times become ‘too big’ for a coach. This has been a case in other teams that are using the same model such as Mamelodi Sundowns and Real Madrid to mention but a few.
This is a honey trap that can also be used to boot out the Zimbabwean mentor; this is a case because you have all the ammunition and any disappointing results could see you vacating the office. Real Madrid is a clear example; they once had four coaches in four seasons.
By far the team has the biggest squad list in the league and this addition makes matter worse for some players. Maposa’s arrival automatically means the talent of Michael Pepukani and Bobby Mathe will be wasted since only Maposa and Mwampole Masule will tussle for the first choice position in the post.
Having so many stars in the team does not guarantee you a success; the team may start to endure dwindling fortunes and even fail their mandates as players will have to gel together. For their part Popa family only defend themselves by saying ‘’we want depth as we prepare to traverse Africa’’.
Even though they could be preparing for CAF there is no need to sign so ‘unnecessarily’; only two players will do, especially that the team has been doing well and they have depth and again this transfer is used to patch here and there.
This tendency of hoarding all the best players in one team can prove very expensive in various ways; firstly, players will be receiving huge salaries even as they warm the bench because they cannot all be fielded. Again, this can stunt some players’ professional growth because they will not enjoy as much game time as is needed to make a lasting impact on the game domestically. During the revolution of Mochudi Center Chiefs in 2006, the team used the same model, wasting away a lot of talent and effectively ending the careers of the likes of former Tafic hit man Nicholas Gora and Thato Siska, prematurely.
A recent study shows that Township Rollers is not only popular within the perimeters of Botswana, but has also made significant steps within the digital football platforms in Africa.
Out of the 70 African football clubs ranked on the African football digital benchmark, Township Rollers comes on the 35th position backed by a massive social media following. The club website records more than 399 000 followers and is seen as the most interactive in the local game.
This is consistent with the recent study conducted by FIFA- world football governing body- that Rollers is the only team locally that makes use of its digital platforms.
Notably, it comes out that the gap between Township Rollers and the rest of the 15 Premier League clubs is abysmal, this therefore works against creating a strong BPL brand value.
Rollers is the only club with more than 50 000 followers on Facebook, more than 20 000 followers on Twitter while its Instagram platform stands strong at 27 800 followers.
However, it is found out that much of the BPL brand value is killed by some social Facebook football fan accounts. They have stood long and have thus attracted more followers than the official accounts. Pages like Killers Pass and Botswana Football have consequently seen more than 100 000 following. Both of the accounts give 24 hour on-going updates of football’s latest news, transfers, results, video and live updates.
FIFA has therefore come to a conclusion that the two social media pages have grown interactive since they incite followers to answer and present their impressions about local football.
It comes into the open that 70 percent of domestic premier league clubs do not have official websites. This according to FIFA, kills the brand and visibility of clubs hence failure to attract lucrative sponsors by the clubs. FIFA also found out that the remaining 30 percent of clubs with websites are lacklustre and found wanting when it comes to their online presence. But in this regard, Rollers is on pole position.
Hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele has completed a move from Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, to Gaborone United in a reported lucrative two-year deal, WeekendSport can confirm.
The Reds have finally made their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be happy to have completed the transfer after a heavy fall out with Galaxy management.
He wants to play football that pays, something which Galaxy cannot offer and the allure of GU was certainly too much for Ditsele to turn a blind eye.
The team as led and directed by construction magnate, Nicholas Zakhem- who is reported to have given ‘CCTV’ a mouth-watering P30 000 per month plus winning bonuses contract in demonstration of their seriousness to win silverware.
Sometime in March, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum-to either improve his contract benefits or let him go-after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the devastating effects of the corona virus pandemic.
Galaxy had arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P 3000 until a time football returns to the field with moneyed sponsorships.
“We are proud to have signed him because he will add quality to our squad once football returns. Always a quality player and like him and he is now available, you don’t say there is no football, you tie him down before other clubs beat you to his signature,” said club Director, Nicholas Zakhem.
It is believed that Ditsele has always recognized GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. Ditsele was at Gilport Lions before he was snatched up by Galaxy and now GU. His moves come as no surprise as his dream has always been to play for high paying clubs.
No doubt, Ditsele has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but the lad has always felt that the time is right to move on. Ditsele leaves having a year left on his contract.
It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with the last season being his best, winning the premiership title.
Once Galaxy has sent him to overseas club at Highlands Park but returned home after a short stint.
However, the fan favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, The Zebras, was never going to be held by the terms of his contract.
Despite encountering an injury scare ahead of the IAAF Diamond League circuit this week, Nijel Amos’ Olympic dream is still on track and he remains ever capable to stun the world by replicating his famous feat at the 2012 Olympic Games.
This was confirmed by his coaches and doctors after the Botswana star suffered a minor calf injury that forced him out of the weekend race. The multiple conqueror of 800m races is expected back on the track on June 9th to shake off this injury scare and face the possibilities of winning another Olympic medal. This likelihood only has one month to go!
Amos remains the only Motswana athlete to ever win a medal at the Olympic Games, a rare but magnificent accomplishment that still lingers in the memory of Botswana sport fraternity. At the time, he was only 18 years and strange enough, that silver medal felt like Gold for many.
His anticipated presence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on course to renew the long standing rivalry between him and the Kenyan 800m world record holder, David Rudisha. This is the same Kenyan competitor who won Gold when Botswana’s Amos came second in a race that would become the toast of the competitions at the London Olympics.
However, two years later, at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Amos dethroned Rudisha in another breath-taking race that confirmed and sparked the ongoing thrilling competitiveness — filled with pleasure, pain and sporting hatred- between the two.
When Amos was beaten in London, he never cared who won the race but was ecstatic to have finished at the podium, writing his name into Olympic Game folklore.
But in Glasgow, for Rudisha, defeat seemed not to have diminished his hopes. After the finish, when the lacerations were sharpest and the wound deepest, Rudisha was pictured hugging Nijel Amos, and congratulating him for a job well done.
Then, Amos was just 20 years, oozing with confidence. The shy looking Rudisha wrapped a Kenyan flag around his back and went on a lap of honour to celebrate his silver medal.
If there was disappointment Rudisha masked it with the skill of an actor. He smiled and waved as he received a standing ovation. “Amos is a tough competitor and he was very good,” Rudisha once admitted, stating matters of sporting facts that would follow between the two runners. Win. Lose. Win. Lose.
But then, there have been echoes of a swollen Muhammad Ali after his defeat to Joe Frazier, winking at the hundreds of fans who had converged at his hotel, determined to show light on his darkest day. The bruises on that day were to Rudisha’s record, not his face. Like Ali, he promised to be back.
But that night was about Amos. A callow 18-year-old who finished second to Rudisha at London 2012 sharpened his confidence, hardened by beating his idol twice on the Diamond League circuit, grew with each passing year.
However, both athletes began to suffer sporting injuries of their own, they lost the edge they were well-known for and it is why at the 2016 Olympic Games, the bookmakers were upset when they could not meet at the final. It was Amos who faltered in the heats and although Rudisha became the first Kenyan to retain an Olympic title, it was not as scintillating as it was in 2012.
Now with a month to go, Amos is living in prayer, hoping he stays free from injuries. He is looking forward to become the star again. He has won everything at the diamond league and broke every national record, but his eyes are still fixed on the ultimate prize- the Gold medal at the international stage, with or without David Rudisha.