Thursday, October 1, 2020

Chaotic state of Premier League teams

Amid uncertainties surrounding the eagerly awaited multi-million Premier League sponsorship, the teams are now the ones that are hard hit.
Most players from Premier League teams are not turning up for training because they are owed money.

What is making the situation worse is the fact that most teams rely on gate takings and since there is no action, teams are financially struggling.
Some of the most affected are the community teams. At some clubs, players are not picked because of lack of training and this has created tension among executive team members and even among the supporters.

One of the affected teams is Notwane, which is also yet to hire a coach.
Most of the players at training for Notwane are youngsters looking forward to making names for themselves, while several senior and regular players are missing.

At the time of going to press there was still no word from the Premier League office regarding the new sponsorship. This then means the league might even start as late as October.

This is so because teams have not been given fixtures for the coming season, but the BFA constitution requires that teams should be given fixtures two weeks before the commencement of the league.
Another challenge facing the Premier League is that of the imminent shortage of playing grounds.

However, some teams are already bracing themselves for the new season despite the uncertainties.

They are training as usual and the attendance is very high. One such team is Township Rollers who have been in a series of friendly games. With the new coach in charge, several players who were not in the plans of sacked coach, Dickson Ngwenya, are raring to go.
The team’s managing Director, Somereset Gobuiwang, told Sunday Standard that the team is intact and will continue to be until the league resumes.

“At Township Rollers, everything is going well. The team has been training together for some time and all our players have been coming to training without hiccups. Our team has also been engaged in friendly games and that is helping our players to be fit for up coming matches,” he said.

The major challenge for Rollers’ decorated coach, Rahman Gumbo, now is that he is still new at the team and it might take time for him to find new combinations and co-ordinations.
With impatient and hard-to-please supporters always on the sidelines, the Rollers coach is in for a huge challenge. When Ngwenya came to Rollers, a lot was said about him but he found himself struggling with so much talent at his disposal.
The only notable foreign coaches who made it big with Rollers were perhaps the late Edwin Kanyanta and Fred Mwilwa. They both won the Coca-Cola Cup and the league championships with the team.

The local coach who also made it big with Rollers is the late Banks Panene who also won both the league and Coca-Cola championships in 2005.
Currently, Rollers boasts of great players like Bernard Simakwenzi, Terrence Mandaza, Tebogo Mothusi and Edwin Moalosi. Whether Gumbo, who is reported to have done well in his native Zimbabwe and in Malawi, will deliver the goods remains to be seen.
Notwane, on the other hand, is one team that is viewed to have made a blunder by firing its coach recently just before the start of the season.
The new coach will have to also be familiar with the club’s environment and that is something that might take time. By the time he finds good combinations, it might be a bit late for the team.

One team that looks determined to do well this season is Lobatse based side, Extension Gunners. There seems to be too much revolution at the team, which is hungry for success.

The last time they won a major title was in 1994. To date, Gunners have registered two highly-rated players from Burundi. The two strikers are seen as a solution to the goal-scoring problem that persisted in the team for some time.

The only hiccup at the team is that they are still trying to raise funds to pay the teams their players came from.
In their glory days, Gunners were weak in defence and goalkeeping departments, but were unstoppable in the midfield and strike force. Already, their midfield is strong and the defence is not bad either.

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