As expected, Township Rollers swept all the awards for the lucrative Coca-Cola tournament and the be-Mobile Premier League.
This was mainly because the team won both tournaments.
However, the prize that is invoking controversy is that of Player of the Season that went to goalkeeper, Kabelo Dambe.
Dambe was one of the three Township Rollers nominees that also included Zimbabwean internationals Terrence Mandaza and Itayi Gwandu.
It looks like several coaches believed Zimbabwean Gwandu would walk away with it but it was not to be as the 20-year-old won it.
Former BDF XI coach, Stanley Mwaanga, told The Telegraph that Gwandu played a sterling role for Rollers and was his choice. Mwaanga also added that the problem he has is that he does not know the criteria used in selecting the players because it has never been made public.
“Definitely Gwandu was excelling this season and many people could see that. I am not taking anything from Dambe, he is a good goalkeeper with a bright future but Gwandu was the man to watch. He played all matches for Rollers and was very consistent throughout the season,” he said.
Mwaanga’s sentiments were shared by veteran coach, Clever Hunda.
Hunda told The Telegraph that what made Gwandu special is the fact that he won back to back, something that is not easy for many players.
“Winning the Premier League back to back is difficult. But look at Gwandu, he won it back to back and for that matter he played very well in both seasons when he was at Gaborone United (GU) and Rollers. I thought this is one element the selectors would take into consideration. Gwandu was also one player who was rarely booked despite being a defender and this shows that he was very clean,” he said.
One prominent local coach, who preferred anonymity, was also disappointed with Dambe’s selection.
He echoed Mwaanga and Hunda’s sentiments, saying Gwandu was a second to none choice.
“Before Gwandu arrived at Rollers, they had a problem at the back and he managed to stabilize it with perfection. Dambe is good but he was protected by Gwandu, who is tough in the air, and even good on tackles. What more can you ask for from him?” he said.
The coach also added that it seems that foreign players are sidelined despite the enormous effort they put on the field of play. He said when Mochudi Centre Chiefs won it three seasons ago Gavin Mpundu was outstanding but it ended up going to Oteng Moalosi who was not even in the national team. “Even last year when GU won the league, it was the case of Gwandu and Ronald Chikomo but it was given to the late Joseph Phetogo. In football, we should be a family and put aside the nationality of players. Gwandu is not fortunate and I am praying day and night for him to sign for South African side Orlando Pirates. All selection committees must come out and be transparent by telling the nation what their criteria is,” he said.