Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Daunting task for newcomers to stay in Premier League

There are only two weeks to go before the Premier League commences.
Normally, at this juncture, most eyes would be on the teams’ new signings, acquired to bolster their squads.

However it has since proven difficult for most teams to sign new players, something that is unusual in local soccer.

With most Premier League teams having failed to actively beef up their teams, this might signal even more bad news for newly promoted teams from the First Division.

Normally, new comers don’t easily survive in the Premier League, they get promotion only to go be relegated at the end of the same season.

For instance, Naughty Boys and Great North Tigers are back to the First Division after only a season’s stay in the Premier League.

Boteti Young Fighters is the only team so far that has surprised many people by surviving the Premier League for the past three seasons and, surprisingly, not only surviving but occupying reputable positions on the log.

When the team gained promotion, they did not bring any big names in their line-up but used mainly those players that coach Kenneth Mogae had been using in the lower division.

Mogae even once told Sunday Standard that results are a symbol of how the coach works with his players and the faith he has in them. Now Palapye-based side, Motlakase, has already made it to the Premier League and Jwaneng Comets look like the other team to be promoted.

Motlakase has shown a bit of commitment by vigorously preparing for the new season but they have not as yet made big signings. What disadvantages them the most is that they are likely to play almost all their matches away, something that might drain their energy and finances.

It is reported that plans are at an advanced stage to construct a stadium in Palapye, but it might take a bit longer to complete.

Comets, on the other hand, have not yet really gone into the market and they seem to have not learned from their past mistakes.

They were in the Premier League three seasons ago only to donate points to other teams once too often, always losing heavily and were immediately condemned back to the First Division.
Motlakase spokesperson, Monty Gagomokgwa, told Sunday Standard that they are going to emulate Boteti and are going to do all what they could to survive in the Premier League.

“We had a great plan when we got promoted to the Premier League and we have another one to stay in the Premier League. We have good players that are going to make a huge impact,” said Gagomokgwa.

On the prospect of playing almost all their games away, Gagomokgwa stressed that it would not have much bearing on the team. He said they had also long worked on the situation and the players are prepared for that.

He added that even the few signings they had made would help the team considerably.

Motlakase tried to sign some big names but to little avail as the teams whose players they were trying to poach rushed to improve and extend their players’ contracts.


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