Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Historic Sankoyo and Letlapeng enter the lion’s den

It was deep towards the end of the first half at Swallows grounds in Ramotswa on Good Friday when Sadat Sinare scored a vital goal that would ensure that home side, Letlapeng secure automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The team, playing against Black Forest, endured a loss would have been a severe blow as they would have to go through promotional playoffs and hence plating to a one all draw.

The promotion of Letlapeng would in a space of a week see another team from the North, Sankoyo Bush Bucks, being also promoted to the elite league.

Promotion of both sides was historic in Botswana as it was the first time both two teams tasted life in the elite league.

The time Letlapeng nearly made it to the elite league was few years back when they went for the promotional playoffs. They failed at the first hurdle.

For Sankoyo it was like a fairy tale because they got promotion only in their second season in the First Division.

For years, the same teams were hopping between the Premier League and the First Division but this year has taken a different turn as teams do not get promoted only to get relegated.

Such teams include the likes of Naughty Boys, Jwaneng Comets, Killer Giants, Black Peril, and others.

For Ramotswa it is the third time they have a representative in the Premier League after the duo of Mokgosi Young Fighters and Killer Giants.

Sankoyo have also made history for the North West region because it is the first time a club from that region makes it to the Premier League.

Immediately after getting promoted, coach of Letlapeng, Thaloba Nthaga made it clear that they long planned for their promotion before the league started. They would also in turn work hard to remain there. He said his team fought hard from the beginning of the campaign to the very end. It can be remembered that Nthaga is the one who helped Tlokweng side, Black Peril to the Premier League about three season ago and it is the second time he is helping a team to the Premier League.

On the other hand, sports analyst, Fobby Radipotsane told Sunday standard sports that the promotion of both Sankoyo and Letlapeng to the Premier League is a positive development for football in Botswana. He said all regions need to be covered so that talent is discovered all over the country.

“What is happening now is a result of the initiatives of the Botswana Football Association to take football across the country. As a result of that other regions are improving and that helps football development in general. Sankoyo promotion means that all best players across the Chobe region would aspire to play for the club and eventually would end up at the national team,” he said.

Radipotsane also added that even the Ghanzi region is improving saying it has been two years since the promotion of Ghanzi Terros.

He said the team used to play in the lower divisions and hence their continued stay would one day result in promotion.

Radipoptsane stressed that even the relegation of teams is evenly spread in Botswana compared to the previous years.

He said currently team that got relegated being, Uniao Flamengo Santos, Miscellaneous and Tafic are from different regions. He said in the past teams that mostly relegated were from the north of the country.

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