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.
Township Rollers Head Coach, Nikola Kavazovic, has left a note on management’s table addressing the futures of Galabgwe Moyana and Lemponye Tshireletso. The duo had their stay at the club in the spotlight as debate over refreshing the squad raged on.
It is reported that Kavazovic had scheduled talks with the attacking midfielders as he seeks to convince them to stay for one more season at the club. The gaffer wants to turn the club’s pot of gold into silverware one more time.
Moyana had already offered himself to premier league rookies, Masitaoka Football Club.However, Rollers has other experienced players and the expectation is that many titles will still be won.
However, the club has made it known that it wants to traverse a torrid passage of CAF champion’s league, reaching group stages, at the very least.It is in this regard that Kavazovic will wants Moyana and Tshireletso to stay.
He hopes their injury nightmares will be arrested hence they could take leading roles to stir the Rollers ship to victory again.More often than not during the last season, their absence left Rollers struggling.But they too, could struggle to return to full fitness missing the opportunity to drive Rollers back to glory days, alongside the rest of Roller veterans in skipper Maano Ditshupo and Ofentse Nato.
But the team’s insistence and promise to make a loud impact in the coming season is still awaiting confirmation. The duo in particular will have to stand strong otherwise the ambition mirrors a tomorrow that will never come.
Engendered into the multi-million project of Jagdish Shah, the players were recruited to embody the present and future of the club and true to that testament, both have played a pivotal role for Rollers to win more silverware.
The talent of the duo, after reuniting with Kavazovic, should make the case for Rollers to once again make headline impact, particularly in the CAF competition starting next year January. Kavazovic agrees that as a unit they could find an edge as clubs are preparing for a return to the field.
Away from the Rollers stage, both players have won many titles with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and are still loved by their followers.When reached for comment, Rollers media liaison officer, Phempheretlhe Pheto, said there are in fact four players who were supposed to leave the club.
He said all will be decided after talks are completed as each player will face the management about the way forward.“It is not only the two guys, they are about four players whose contracts have expired but each one of them is expected to negotiate with management. Their future will be determined by the outcome of the talks,” he said.
The other two players are Kaone van der Westhuizen who is playing as a left back as well as Bogosi Nfila who was signed to bring goals.
Botswana international defender, Lesenya Ramoraka’s situation at TS Galaxy has been explained by his agent Tumi Gabonamong.
The 26 year old defender found himself in a tight situation after his club; Highlands Park’s status was bought by renowned football agent Tim Sukazi of TS Galaxy.
The sudden changes meant that some players were to be released by the team to accommodate new recruitments and changes at the club. As the club status was acquired, Ramoraka’s contract at Highlands was left with a year and the club opted to keep him despite spending much time on the side-lines due to injuries.
According to Gabonamong the lanky left back is part of the new TS Galaxy team although he was not included in the team list for this season. As per information gathered, Ramoroka will only be registered with the team in the next transfer window slated for January.
“He is very much still part of the team. He is currently nursing an injury he sustained during the bubble games. He will of course start training end of November or beginning of December. They’ll only register him in the next transfer period, he’s part of the team,” said Gabonamong.
Ramoraka has proven himself since joining the team in 2018 from Orapa United. Lee as Ramoraka is known in football circles has so far played 29 games for the team, netting only once.
“Ramoraka is one of the players that survived the changes at the team, remember the team doesn’t have many left backs and he is a quality player having so far cemented a place in the starting line-up. I believe after his injury he will fight for a place as usual.
That is why the team kept him therefore people shouldn’t worry that he is not registered this season.There is no need to register a player when you know he will be out for some time. It is only advisable for you to offer him more playing time more especially that he is a foreigner this side.
Again, his injury is healing and he will come back sooner than later. The aim is to keep him this side even when he might not renew his contract but chances are he will be with the team for some time because they have shown much value on him,” explained the wife of former Zebras midfielder, Mogogi Gabonamong
RECONCILED? Former Zebras Coach tshosane and former BFA President Sebego
In the build up to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee elections, former Senior National Team Coach, Stanley Tshosane had threatened to sue presidential aspirant, Tebogo Sebego, after the latter made suggestions on national radio that the performance of the national team was appalling during the former’s tenure.
Tshosane, who claimed reputational damage, said a number allegations made by Sebego were baseless and unfounded. Sources say Tshosane was livid that Sebego tarnished his reputation and integrity when he deposited averments on national broadcasters to the effect that the national team performance had reached its lowest ebb before the appointment of Brighton Peter Butler.
The Englishman came to supplant Tshosane just a year after The Zebras returned from their maiden African Cup of Nations edition of 2012.Tshosane was therefore ready to draw first blood and demanded retraction, further threatening a legal route in the event Sebego did not act as prescribed.
According to sources close the developments, Sebego however demonstrated leadership qualities and apologized, letting bygones be bygones. Sources say the former BFA administrators have smoked a peace pipe especially that Sebego’s ambition of becoming president disappeared a fortnight ago when he lost again to MacLean Letshwiti in a tightly contested election.
The animosity between Tshosane and Sebego first played out in 2013 when Sebego’s administration sacked the former coach, giving one simple explanation that he was failing to inspire the collective belief within the national squad.
It is said that Tshosane never forgave the past administration for firing him especially that he was on sick leave at the time the letter was delivered to him by the then Chief Executive Officer, Keith Masters. Tshosane was fresh from penning a new deal when he was terminated. At the time he sought legal redress claiming prejudice.
It is not yet clear if Tshosane and the BFA administration have ironed out their differences. When his situation grew precarious in 2013, he felt he was sabotaged by the people he trusted.But sources say the Jackalas number 1 born coach now enjoys a healthy relationship with the association and that is why there is talk suggesting his possible return.
Tshosane was not available for comment as his phone rang unanswered while Sebego refused altogether to share details saying; “I cannot respond to allegations, I mean we need to be respected, this is just senseless.”
Stan, who is now over 60 years, was first appointed to the position of Botswana Senior National Team Coach in 2008, following a short spell as caretaker coach. In 2012, he led the Zebras to their first appearance in AFCON 2012 co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
A year later, in October, after BFA new leadership assumed power and he was sacked for failing to re-write his 2012 success football story. Critics then suggested he was only offered the job because the football association could not afford to hire a better reputable “name’’.
Stan had previously been assistant to the Serbian mentor, Veselin Jelušić, as well as English manager, Colwyn Rowe, for the national team.
Whilst working as an assistant for the national team, he had also been manager of the Botswana Defence Force XI (BDF XI) for a lengthy spell. Stan had also played for BDF XI in his glory days as a football player.