Sunday, May 22, 2022

First round high riders

Most teams are left with about three games before the first round of the Mascom Premier League comes to end. The first round would, in turn, pave the way for the grueling and nail biting second round when most teams would be fighting for either honours or survival. With only a few games left, there are some players who have already made their mark by steering their teams to memorable victories. Even though other teams are struggling, they in turn have players who always stand out.

High-riding Mochudi Centre Chiefs is well coordinated from the goalkeeping department to the striking forces and several of their players have been in electrifying form. Players like Noah Maposa, Pontsho Moloi, Mpho Mabogo and Oteng Moalosi are the main engineers behind Centre Chiefs’ good run. Other players from other teams are Moreetsi Mosimanyana, Lapologang Motlogi (Police XI) Botlhe ‘Ringo’ Rankgomo, Jack Maphaga (Uniao Flamengo Santos), Kgololo Leteane, Tiroyamodimo Mohambi (Extension Gunners).


It is only a matter of time before Maposa is snatched by a foreign team. He is the main reason Chiefs have conceded the least number of goals. He has been excellent in handling crosses, shot stopping and even his punts are well timed and placed. Even at international level, he is an understudy to BDF custodian, Modiri Marumo, at Zebras. It would not be surprising if the next transfer window rekindles rumours for overseas teams.


Moloi is undoubtedly one of the best players this country has produced. He has since taken over from where he left last season where he finished as the leading goal scorer. Even now he is scoring regularly and it would also be not surprising if he retains the title and eventually making a move outside the country. ‘Piro’, as he is affectionately called in soccer circles, can also play effectively as an attacking midfielder.


When he arrived at Chiefs many people doubted whether he would produce the same magic he displayed at the army side, BDF XI. He also struggled a bit in his first few games, but the Shoshong-born striker has since proved his critics wrong. He is one of the regular goal scorers at the team and is also one man gunning for the golden boot. What gives Mabogo an advantage over other strikers is his bulging body and his ability to score through powerful shots from any angle. He has been a headache for most of the defenders in this country.


Moalosi is one of the crafty and creative midfielders in Botswana and many people are wondering why he continues to be overlooked for the national team. He has shown signs of brilliance from his days when he was playing for the national Under 17 of the ‘A ba kgwathe fame’ in 1997. Most of the Centre Chiefs goals are created by the man they call ‘Limkokwing.’ His body might be frail looking and slender but once in possession, it is not easy to dispossess him. It looks more is yet to come for Moalosi.


Many people took note of the Mmadinare-born lad when Botswana’s national Under 23 was playing against Angola for the All Africa Games early this year. Many wondered whether he is really a Motswana because his body structure resembles West or East Africa players. Then he was playing for the second division side, Orapa Bucs, and his confidence and tackles were also surprising because he was playing for the lower ranked team. Mosimanyana is also on the way to be one of the best defenders Botswana has produced and Police XI are currently doing well mainly because of him. He commands Police XI defense with perfection with his no nonsense tackles. Once in action one would think he has been playing in the Premier League for several years.


Motlogi is a new Police XI revelation and the youngster is destined for greater heights. Former national Under 23 coach, Major David Bright, once even called him to the camp. Motlogi is giving many defenders a torrid time with his electrifying runs.


Rankgomo, on the other hand, is on song and Santos is chasing the title mainly because of his prowess in front of goals. Rankgomo has broken the hearts of many big teams, including Township Rollers and BDF XI. If he maintains his consistency he will be one of the golden boot campaigners.


Read this week's paper