Sunday, May 16, 2021

Central region makes Premier League history

About five years ago, it was mammoth task for teams in the Central part of the country to make it to the Premier League. Any team that was fortunate enough to make it would not last for long as the Premier League was traditionally known as the league of teams from Gaborone and some surrounding areas, and, even Francistown.

Sorrounding areas that had teams in the league included the likes of Ramotswa, Tlokweng, Mogoditshane and even Mochudi. Francistown on the other hand traditionally had two teams, Tafic and Tasc, while Ecco City Green joined them latter. Tasc would later relegate followed by Tafic and Ecco City in the just passed season. The Central region rarely had any teams in the league, but slowly, the duo of Miscellaneous and Motlakase paved the way for Mahalapye side, BR Highlanders.

Against all odds, another team from Serowe has just made it to the Premier League, being Green Lovers and that has taken the number of teams in the Central region to four. This is something that has never happened in the history of Botswana football. What is even surprising many people is the fact that the Central region has managed to eclipse the country’s second City that currently does not have a single team in the elite league. The surge in the number of teams in the Central region has now taken the number of teams, South of Dibete to seven, which is historical.

Selibe Phikwe has Nico United and FC Satmos while Maun has Sankoyo Bush Bucks. Sports analyst and soccer agent, Gonty Gagomokgwa views the situation as the positive development of local football. He said for a long time the Central region was acting as a feeding centre for many teams around the country but now that has changed. “The Central region is the biggest in the country and I feel this increase of Central region teams should have happened a long time ago.

There are many players from the Central region and currently most of them are not moving to other areas like before, but they are staying closer to home and end up playing for those teams around them,” he said.

Gagomokgwa also said even the most qualified coaches from the Central region who were staying in cities are now coming back to help in developing soccer. “Coaches like Teenage Mpote stayed with Miscellaneous for some time and ended up helping the team to get promoted to the Premier League. You must remember it was after he stayed for a long time in Francistown where he played and coached Tasc. His trail in Serowe is there for all to see,” he said. Gagomokgwa also stressed that the Central region, especially Palapye, was experiencing a development boom and hence also attracting skilled sports experts.

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