Monday, September 28, 2020

Flops of the season

Before this current season started, most teams signed influential players with the hopes of reviving their fortunes and fight for honours. Other players yielded results and led their respective teams to greater heights.

Others, however, left a lot to be desired and did not perform to expectations. Some of those players are Seabo Gabanakgosi, Kgosietsile Senjoba (Gaborone United (GU)), System Mubi (Lobtrans Gunners), Barry Hangunyu (Township Rollers) and Kenanao ‘Floh’ Kgetholetsile (BDF XI).

Gabanakgosi joined GU in the last transfer window looking for regular game time. He left at a time when Rollers signed Hangunyu from FC Satmos. Many people believe that it was wrong for him to move in the first place and should have stayed to fight for his place. When he left Gabanakgosi said he did not want to jeopardise his national team chances. But when he arrived at GU, he played well in some of the games in the first round. Of late, things have been different because he normally found himself warming the bench most of the time. What surprises many people about Gabanakgosi is that when he left Rollers, he was a regular member of the national team (Zebras).

He is remembered for his influential part in Botswana’s historic victory against South Africa in the COSAFA tournament. He finds himself sidelined by players such as Willie Mantu and Aaron Tabolane. Gabanakgosi was one of the few players in the national team who came through all development structures up to the senior team level and once had a stint in America.

Senjoba, on the other hand, has always been the one who did a sterling job for FC Satmos. At Satmos he put the then first choice goalie, Kagiso Tshelametsi, on his toes. It was not surprising when he got regular call-ups to the national team. As an experienced goalkeeper, GU lured him to groom Boitumelo Kediseng who has been good since GU gained promotion from the First Division in 2006. Currently, Senjoba has let in many soft goals that could otherwise have been avoided. He has good height but in most cases struggles to cut crosses. Many GU supporters are calling for him to be offloaded.

Mubi is one who has surprised many Gunners supporters because, basing on his Zambian history, he was expected to turn Gunners fortunes around. Imagine a top striker who scores less than ten goals in 98 percent of the league matches. Mubi’s positioning and reading of the game is very good, but the problem is scoring. He has also missed many easy chances that even a school boy could have scored. The game many Gunners supporters would not forget was against Mochudi Centre Chiefs at the National Stadium on Thursday. Gunners lost the game by three goals to two and Mubi missed glorious chances that eventually led to his team’s downfall. At one stage, he found himself outpacing Chiefs defenders but shot wide with goalkeeper Noah Maposa at his mercy. His chances of staying at Gunners are slim and he might find himself back in Zambia or in another team in Botswana.

Two seasons ago, Kgetholetsile was doing a marvelous job for struggling Prisons XI. That was at the time when Prisons surprised many people by winning many games and led the Premier League for about six weeks. Gunners quickly snatched him and it did not take long for him to make his mark. He scored crucial goals for Gunners that helped the team to survive the chop. One game he can be remembered for was against arch-rivals Township Rollers when he scored a brace. It was a time Gunners lost many games in a row while Rollers won. When people thought it was just going to be a stroll for Rollers, Kgetholetsile single handedly put up a sterling performance. He made a mistake by quickly moving to the army side where he is yet to show his renowned spark. Even when given a run, Kgetholetsile does not combine well with the likes of Mpho Mabogo and Bernard Simakwenzi. There are rumours that he might go back to Gunners next season.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.