Sunday, October 25, 2020

Are teams from Tlokweng cursed?

Tlokweng is a place blessed with all the football talent one can think of in Botswana. Yester year stars, such as Master Katse and Desmond Molefhe, are from Tlokweng and even incumbent Zebras first choice goalkeeper, Modiri Marumo. Tlokweng’s abundance of talent is even indicated by the fact that there are many teams representing Tlokweng in various divisions.

The division that has, however, been dominated by Tlokweng teams is the First Division, which is only one step away from the Premier League. Surprisingly, it is rare for Tlokweng teams to gain promotion to the elite league a year after one has been promoted. The only recent team that made it to the Premier League was Naughty Boys two seasons ago but they were relegated and came back to the First Division the very following season. This season alone Tlokweng has three representatives in the First Division and chances of making it to the Premier League might also fade away. The trio is made up of Red Sparks, Tlokweng United and Naughty Boys. Most teams from the Southern part of Botswana have surpassed Tlokweng teams and made it to the Premier League. The team that seems never to make any progress is Red Sparks. The only time it was in the elite league was in the 80s, and in all the past years, it was just playing to survive in the first division. Red Sparks also rarely challenges for promotions. The three teams started this season well but they are now finding the going tough.

Former Naughty Boys player, David Mfolo (now with Mochudi Centre Chiefs), attributes lethargic management for lack of progress at the Tlokweng teams. He said if it was not for that, the Premier League could be brimming with Tlokweng teams.

“There are always internal fights in most of the Tlokweng teams and that will not take them anywhere if it continues. What I have also realised is that once a management group takes over the reigns of a team, the old management group plots for its downfall. This has been going on for a long time and if it cannot stop Tlokweng teams will always play in the first or lower divisions. One of the Tlokweng teams has been doing well since the league started, but now the going is tough, and there are allegations of a power struggle,” Mfolo said.

One of the players for one of the Tlokweng teams, who preferred anonymity, said that Tlokweng teams rarely make it to the top because of lack of unity. The player said Tlokweng people must come together and form one strong team that would have a large following. He said having three teams in one league from a small place like Tlokweng is not a healthy development for football.

“I think all the residents of Tlokweng should put their differences aside and do something for the benefit of Tlokweng community. In order to have a representative in the Premier League, other teams must be disbanded and form one strong team. This is happening in many countries and it is successful, why not do it here,” the player said.

The player also said, among Tlokweng teams, there is a mentality of not freely accommodating other players from outside Tlokweng. The player said the perception has driven away many good players who could have added value to the teams.

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