Connect with us
Advertisement

Afriyie fails Rollers test

Francis Afriyie’s long term prospects appear bleak at high flying Township Rollers. The Ghanaian born striker, recruited roughly three months ago, has become a peripheral figure at the club and a decision to part company with him has been sanctioned by the club executive committee, sources have revealed.

Afriyie made his second appearance over the weekend at the Mascom top 8 heated final between his club and hard to beat, Orapa United. His first instalment was made two months ago when Rollers played host to BDF XI in the semi-finals of the same tournament.

The striker failed to break into the starting 11 of head coach Frank Nuttall and for some time now, it appears frustration was getting to him. But when it finally knocked him down, he stormed out of the bench while a Rollers game was on, in a rough but unexpected remonstration.The former Gho Maria striker penned a two year deal in January and it is rumoured that his contract is heavily incentivized, catapulting him as one of the highly paid players at Rollers.

His end of season departure will now put a serious question mark over Rollers recruitment team. He becomes the fourth foreign striker to fail the club litmus test and be released while on contract. Before him was, Mthokosize Msomi from South Africa, Terrence Mandawa from Tanzania and Fabian Mbowa from Ivory Coast.

Msomi and Mandawa’s release were sanctioned by former coach Nikola Kavazovic. Mbowa is loaned to Police XI to create space and playing opportunity for the now hopeless Afriyie.However, some have asked Rollers to remain patient with the striker as his playing resume paints a colourful picture about his football career.

When asked about the future of the striker, Rollers media liaison Phempheretlhe Pheto said that the player is available and is well much part of the coaches’ plan this season.“Afriyie is available and has been training, but you must remember that the decision to field him lies with his coaches.”He also stated that his way ward behaviour is now a case that lies within the jurisdiction of his manager and not necessarily the club.

All the while, it is said that Afriyie will no longer be a first-choice selection and it was hoped that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players.Rollers have always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their signing of Arnold Mampori last season was rooted, in part, by what he could bring from the field.

Releasing Afriyie will also mean that the club’s striking woes continue. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their strikers but they hoped that Tumisang Orebonye and other targeted signings, aided perhaps by Edwin Moalosi who remains on the books, can fire an upturn.

 

Sport

It’s do or die for Zebras

28th March 2023

The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.

The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).

Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.

Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.

Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.

MPOTE CONFIDENT

Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.

According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.

“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”

OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED

This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.

According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.

Continue Reading

Sport

Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society

27th March 2023

Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

Sport

Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

Continue Reading