Connect with us
Advertisement

GU: The jury is out

Morapedi

Gaborone United has officially appointed a new coach in Innocent Morapedi. But having coached so many moons ago, his philosophy remains unknown as the club enters the new season in need of fine-tuning rather than a tactical overhaul. Staff writer MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE assesses whether the Nikholas Zakhem project will take off without a hitch.

In many people’s views, GU’s preparations and robust recruitment during this transfer window is the epiphany for those who will ordinarily doubt the brilliance of one of the arguably best football side ever.

Since beating traditional rivals; Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers in the 2008/09 season, the club has found it an uphill battle in replicating that the success. The return of Nikholas Zakhem as the club’s supremo and this season’s new signings are bring hope to the Moyagolee faithful.

The long suffering GU community appears to have suddenly found a renewed optimism of returning to their glory days, after watching helplessly for many seasons as arch-rivals Township Rollers snatched the title from their grasp.

In 2012, the club roped in one of the most decorated gaffers on home soil, Major David Bright — a highly renowned tactician whose first job was to clean up the mess left by former coaches. By the time he vacated the post — after a one season spell — he seemed to have done exactly that, reminding domestic football that he is a pragmatic man whose football ideologies have been appealing even to the purists.

Bright won the 2013 Mascom Top 8 cup and secured qualification for the CAF confederation. After Bright, Rahman Gumbo was approached to rescue a dying season but the GU ship remained stagnant. Gumbo’s departure was followed by the return of Philemon Makhwengwe. It was his second home coming after bout of Coca-Cola cup success in 2012. However, his second coming was without success.

There is however a deep rooted scepticism that GU is in want of a coach the calibre of Morapedi, who is anticipated to be the care-taker of a squad that was marred in their last season.
Pontsho Moloi, who was in charge on interim basis, instilled faith in young players so much so that when the season prematurely ended because of the coronavirus in March 2020, GU was in fourth position and in contention for league title.

But from a distance, Moloi looks to have somehow transformed previous terms’ failures into a pot of gold with the team rising to every occasion presented to them. For Morapedi, this would represent success and the soft spoken mentor is aware even this will be difficult.

However, GU players are said to be lining-up to claim their first ever premiership title in 11 seasons. The new coach is somehow cagey. Morapedi would never say it publicly but everybody is playing for the league, it will be too early to say they are right on course with his appointment.

But can it happen? The jury is still out until the end of the campaign as the executive committee, inclusive of GU chief financier, Nicholas Zakhem finished the quest to recruit new players. The Gaborone based outfit will however have to see-off the trio of Jwaneng Galaxy, Township Rollers and Orapa United to return to golden days.

GU’s wrecking ball has however arrived when they failed to win the heart of former talented winger Kabelo Seakanyeng. He has gone to play football in Morocco where offers were reportedly better.
Deadly striker, Kapamba has been de-registered. He was instrumental in the club’s resurgence last season.

Beyond dispute is GU’s mantle as a contender and their reaction to both Seakanyeng and Kapamba‘s exit. For all considered factors the former players were the country-class inspiration behind the club’s last strongest title challenge of the Premier League era. The blow however prompted a swift and considered response.

The management seems to have identified several weak spots in the squad. They also pinpointed some problems that undermined their thrilling title challenge last season and have addressed them.
GU spokesperson Romeo Benjamin agrees; “The team is well oiled to win some championships.” He added, “All our players are ready for selection to compete, coaches are spoilt for choice.”
The team has brought into their fold new recruits; Thatayaone Ramatlapeng, Mothusi Johnson, Karabo Phiri and hard tackling defender Thato Kebue.

Much therefore now depends on the skipper, Alphoso Modisaotsile and the awareness of the strikers in front of him. The continued upward trajectory of Obonye Maome and the stability of new signee, Ramatlapeng can bring what will surely determine the success of the team. Up front, the club lacks absolutely nothing. They have Kekaetswe Moloi – a proven goal scorer and veteran attacker Joel Mogorosi.

However, GU is now criticised for adopting a robust move when building for silverware. In search of glory and countrywide appeal, just like Rollers and Center Chiefs used to do, the team is castigated for paying little attention to their youth academy and adopting an almost mercenary belief that success literally has a price.

Sport

BPL NOT profitable – FIFA

19th April 2021
BPL

A study conducted by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has revealed that a turnaround strategy is needed to make an elite league body, Botswana Premier League (BPL), a profitable entity.

The study piloted in June and completed in December of last year, depicts a picture of possible improvement where a total of 16 premier league clubs were examined and studied on how they conduct their football related businesses.

It comes out that 54% of premier league club revenue streams are from general sponsorship while a paltry 2% is generated from gate takings. A further 11% of profit is from broadcasting rights and that remains abnormal in a game that should be well known to be propelled by rich television agreement worldwide.

Moreover, BDF XI, Gilport Lions, Extension Gunners, Miscellaneous, Morupule Wanderers , BR Highlanders, Police XI and Prisons XI have all demonstrated a heavy reliance and dependence on sponsors, prices and monthly grants, while the quartet of Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United, Township Rollers and Gaborone United have all managed to source revenue streams outside the common and well known sponsor outlets.

Of all the 16 premier league clubs, Jwaneng Galaxy emerges as the top club that is able to attract moneyed sponsors. The study shows that the Jwaneng outfit rakes about P 5 million in sponsorship revenues, followed by their ‘rival brothers’ Orapa United who receive an approximation of P 3 million per football season.

The two clubs are at the fore front because of the footsteps and presence of Debswana in their leadership radar.Coming third is Security Systems whose purse get around P 2.5M from the parent company, GU is on fourth spot at around P 1.5M. Township Rollers is on a distant fifth position with about P 1M per season of individual sponsorship.

The rest of the clubs receive services in kind such as accommodation, playing kits, training kits, fuel and water and soft drinks. This further underlines the struggle to make profit as footballing team in the elite league, the study highlights.

However, from the report, it emerges that only Township Rollers has the capacity to make profit from a good football season. Much of the club revenues are from the sale of its replica jerseys. The club as powered by Jagdish Shah sells about 3000 replicas at a value of P 350 000.It is the only club that sells merchandise from sport chain stores (Studio 88) and according to the report, it is a reliable indicator that shows fans engagement level with the club.

While it emerges from this study that ticketing revenue has a low weight on club’s revenues varying from 2-9% depending on the club, Rollers again is the only club making profit from this front.

But to further underscore the issue of lack of business sense in the elite league, it comes to the fore that there is low fan attendance per home game and this is the major cause of low ticketing revenue.

Gunners however top the table, averaging a total of 5000 supporters per game. Gunners is followed by Rollers at 4000 followers while Miscellaneous comes third with 1700 fans per home game. On average, it shows that 75% of clubs have a fan base while the remaining 25% have absolute nothing.

The report further indicates that many of Botswana’s elite clubs are experiencing financial difficulties because of the model of ownership.
“Clubs legal entity form is not homogenous and 25% of them are owned by the government,” the report shows.

The report therefore recommends that clubs should standardized ownership models as this will lose dependency on government.“Furthermore, legal conditions will be the same for all clubs and transparency of the BPL will be enhanced,” the report curtailed.

However, BFA says it knows nothing about the report but one member of the executive committee says the association is addressing all problems bedevilling Botswana’s game.

The member is adamant that all administrative loopholes of the game will be resolved and it is why FIFA project time for change is still on going at regional level.

8 – Numbers of clubs that make financial losses
4 – Clubs do not depend on gate takings
1 – club is self-sustaining

Continue Reading

Sport

Rollers rejected Ngele

19th April 2021

Nikola Kavazovic, Township Rollers’ pragmatic Head Coach, is said to have scuppered a move that was to see Botswana international Magokolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele joining the club in this football calendar.

Instead, the player proceeded to join Limpopo province based outfit, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila F.C. carrying a long face.

It is reported that Shah, the club’s investor, had wanted to sign the left footed midfielder to bolster an attacking front but Kavazovic flatly refused to sanction the move, adding that his squad is solid and strong even without Tsotso Ngele.

According to reports, Ngele was to be offered a contract with a salary scale of P 40 000. Shah believed, and still holds the same view, that Ngele’s name is a powerhouse that was to further market the team and increase its brand awareness in Botswana’s business community.

However, Kavazovic is said to have told some members of the technical team that it is always difficult to coach and manage players who are favoured by Shah.

Ngele is reported to be nostalgic and would want to play for a home team in the stature of Rollers. As things stand, he is not enjoying his stay at Thohoyandou and it explains why his appearances at the club are an oddity.

Ngele had a successful season with Roller in 2012 where he won the Mascom Top 8 Cup under Mike Sithole. He was expected to be guided by Kavazovic to help mount a serious challenge for this year’s silver ware.

Rollers on its own have reshuffled their attacking options over a period of time, losing darling striker Joel Mogorosi to Gaborone United while another robust striker Teenage Orebonye was poached by clubs abroad.

Before the arrival of Kavazovic, Rollers’ technical team bitterly complained last season about the lack of productivity from their attackers but they hoped that the ever-consistent Edwin Moalosi and Ngele, aided perhaps by Segolame who remains in the books, can fire an upturn.

All the while, it is said Ngele will still force his move to Popa and there is hope that his personality and experience will eventually serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players like Kago Monyake.

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 Mogorosi few seasons ago was rooted, in part, by what he could bring away from the field.

Rollers still wish that Ngele could cut his stay and further negotiate with Kavazovic to sign the player and bring a country wide spread inspiration and determination he possessed after carrying the club to its inaugural top 8 edition in 2012.

That year he won the golden boot playing as a second striker. When he left Rollers, we went straight to command a starting line up with Platinum Stars. A year later, he won the Telkom knockout player of the tournament.

Some members within Rollers fold argue that Shah knew right from the start that he was not going to be able to control Kavazovic and his wishes of signing Tsotso might as well disappear on the furthest horizon.

Continue Reading

Sport

Dambe, Tsotso dump Zebras

12th April 2021

Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.

The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.

It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.

Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.

Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.

Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.

Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.

Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.

A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.

Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.

He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.

“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.

Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.

However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!