Since the beginning of the season, all eyes have been on the log leaders, Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The main reason being that the Kgatleng outfit have been winning games left, right and centre and are yet to lose one. Normally, the second round is a two way attention grabber.
The transfer window has once again come and gone. Just as was the case in the previous ones, it had its ups and downs among many local teams. Generally, it came as a shock to the country as a whole because signings were mainly done locally and no local players signed for a team outside the country.
For many years, South African teams were not eager to play friendly games in Botswana. They would rather go to neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Angola. The only team that has been heeding Botswana’s call is Jomo Cosmos because the team comes to Botswana almost every year.
Way back in 1995 when Township Rollers won the league title, they had gone the first round without a single loss and there was a huge points difference between them and their closest rivals. By the time the league ended, Rollers had only lost two games which were against BDF XI and Police XI.
Promising tennis sensation, Thabiso Mabaka, remains the only local player to have reached the second round of the fiercely contested Africa Junior Championships (AJC). With the prestigious championships left with about two months, the Form Five student at Gaborone Senior Secondary is looking forward to improve on last year’s performance and put Botswana on the world map.
For the past three years, local coaches made a tremendous mark in the Premier League. There was even a time when more than half of the teams were coached by locals who were then taking over from the foreign legion of coaches who had been dominating the local scene for a long time.
Group A. It is a group that is likely to spark a lot of interest mainly because it consists of the host nation Ghana. Relative to their talent, Ghana has underachieved in previous years. Their top finish in recent history is as losing finalists in Senegal in 1992, but this time around they have a team capable of taking the best in Africa and winning.
Old horses once again exposed in a 2-1 loss to South Africa.
South African assistant coach, Pitso Mosimane, has cautioned Botswana over their ever defensive display. Speaking to The Sunday Standard after their 2-1 win over Botswana in Durban on Wednesday, Mosimane said the Zebras have a watertight defence but that does not effectively work for them.
Efforts by Kgatleng side, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, to lift the championship trophy for the first time in more than 20 years of their existence might go up in smoke because they are on the verge of losing some of their top players, Sunday Standard has learnt.
In 1994, former French coach, Aime Jacquet, was once under a barrage of attacks from the media and some sections of the French sports fraternity accusing him of scrappy selection. That was the time when France was preparing to host the 1998 World Cup, and all the years leading to the tournament were horrible for Jacquet as he was criticized left and right.
The biennial AFCON gets underway in Ghana on January 20. Almost all the African talent that is ruling the roast in the World’s major leagues will be on display as 16 teams slug it out.
The festivities that characterised Botswana soccer in 2004 might be back early next year. Reports reaching Sunday Standard are that South African top side, Kaizer Chiefs, will lock horns with Township Rollers at the National Stadium in January.
The annual Mmadinare 10 km Christmas Race celebrates 18 years this year, and the country’s top athletes are expected to grace the occasion. The race that started in 1989 was a big hit in the country only to wane a bit the following years. Organisers of the race have vowed that this year’s race will be spectacular because many sponsors have come on board.
In the past, foreign strikers were the toast of the elite league and normally topped scoring charts. The strikers that come to mind include the likes of Joseph Chikoti, Edison Mulubwa, Francis Chisenga, Mandla Balandla, Themba ‘Mandundu’ Lunga and Langson Phiri. A few years down the line, foreigners’ domination was eclipsed by Batswana something that still prevails to date.
Township Rollers are still in an uncomfortable position despite defeating Mogoditshane Fighters by a solitary goal on Thursday. Rollers have played more games than other teams and have only 16 points under their belt. This then means that with the exception of Jwaneng Comets and Nico United all other teams below Rollers have chances of leapfrogging them.
The curtain is already falling on the year 2007 and undoubtedly it was an action packed one for Botswana sports. All the attention was, however, on football, especially at international level where Botswana made history that will be remembered for many years to come. Also never before in the history of Botswana national football have teams had hectic schedules such as was the case in 2007.
Most teams are left with about three games before the first round of the Mascom Premier League comes to end. The first round would, in turn, pave the way for the grueling and nail biting second round when most teams would be fighting for either honours or survival.
After unceremoniously parting ways with their coach, Township Rollers are now running helter skelter looking for his replacement. The name that keeps cropping up is of the former Gaborone United (GU) coach, Look Masomere. Sunday Standard is reliably informed that Rollers are interested in the services of Masomere, who is currently the caretaker coach of the Zimbabwean national team.
It is a norm around the world that football officials are the most powerful and untouchable compared to politicians.