Gunners’ boss plans to revive the club’s fortunes
by Tshepo Molwane
It is almost a year since Extension Gunners’ membership elected a new executive committee to take control of the club for the next four years. This was after members of the previous committee resigned en-masse forcing an emergency meeting.
It was at that meeting that William Maboane was elected the club’s chairman in absentia.
At the time, he was in Asia on work commitments. It did not stop the general membership from showing faith in his leadership skills, after seeing how he had served Gunners in different capacities as a supporter. In football circles, especially when it comes to leading a big club like Gunners, Maboane was an unknown. Some of Gunners’ supporters had reservations about his ability to lead such a massive club with a rich history.
Upon arriving back in the country, the Moshupa-born auditor assured the club’s followers that he would ensure that things run smoothly at the club. “I’m humbled to have been given an opportunity to lead such a big club like Gunners. I have always had the interests of the club at heart from long time back,” said Maboane at the time.
As has been the case over the years, there are those Gunners’ supporters who never want to see peace prevailing at the club. Just a few months down the line, there were those who were questioning Maboane’s leadership qualities. There were no funds to pay the players’ salaries which led to some sabotaging training sessions. There were reports that a certain group of disgruntled supporters were the one behind all the mess at the club. When it seemed like the dust was settling, Maboane’s committee members resigned.
In their letter, they criticized Maboane for running the club on his own as he does not respect the contribution of other members. It took the intervention of the club’s elder, Rashid Chopdat, for the members with the exception of Keorapetse Kgasa and Tapela Boti to make a U-turn. Despite all the challenges he has faced as Gunners’ boss in his first term, Maboane remains adamant that he can drive the Peleng ship to greater heights.
He believes that it is a matter of believing then everything would be fine. “It’s been a challenging season for all of us at Gunners but I strongly believe that we can succeed if the Gunners’ families pull in the same direction. I’ve been greatful for the support which I have received from (some) the supporters,” said Maboane as he reflects on his 12 months in office.
Maboane believes that for the club to move forward, they have to be transparent in everything they do. He pointed out that the general membership deserves to know everything because they are spending a fortune to follow the team throughout the season.
He did not want to dwell into the recent resignation of his committee members saying that is water under the bridge.
“What is important is the future. We want to take Gunners’ ship to another level,” he said.
At the special meeting for the club held at Lobatse Civic Hall last weekend, though the supporters did not come in numbers, those in attendance showed faith in the leadership skills of Maboane.
They paid tribute to him for having introduced e-ticketing at the club’s home games.
“I know some people do not want Maboane because he’s a man of integrity and wants to account for every thebe. That’s what we as the supporters should encourage if we want to move forward,” said one supporter.
At the meeting, a committee led by Oduetse Langoane was put in place to spearhead the privatization process.
This weekend, Gunners travelled to Hunkuntsi where they played a friendly game and they are expected to visit some places before the season commences on September 14.
“Gunners belong to the people out there so it’s important that they get to see the team in their respective areas,” said Maboane.