Monday, September 28, 2020

Judgement Day for troubled Notwane

Notwane used to be one of the most feared outfits in Botswana, especially in the 1990s but that is history. Over the years, Toronto’s performance and respect have gone down and this has not been helped by the alleged divisions amongst the executive committee.┬á

This season has been the worst for those aligned to the club as the once mighty Toronto Boys face the possibility of relegating to the dusty grounds of First Division South.

Tomorrow (Monday) afternoon Notwane might be playing their last game in the top flight of Botswana football, if they lose to Extension Gunners in the be MOBILE Premier League game slated for SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane. Notwane are sitting on the 14th spot with 26 points with a game remaining. Great North Tigers (GNT) and FC Satmos have already been demoted to the lower division, leaving Toronto needing a miracle to survive.

After their 2-0 win over GNT last weekend, there has been hope within Notwane family that their side can still be playing in the Premier League come next season. But things are not helped by the fact that Notwane have a bunch of unhappy players whose welfare has not been taken care of by the management for a long time.

Currently, their players and technical staff are more like volunteers and there is a likelihood that they might punish their executive by losing to Gunners thus demoting the club to the lower ranks.

This week when their executive committee was supposed to be doing their best to keep the morale of the team high, none of them was present at their training sessions. The body language of the players did not say much and if that meant something then Notwane is in deep trouble.

Notwane takes solace from the fact that Gunners have also been struggling this season and anything is possible.

If Notwane wins and closest rivals Uniao Flamengo Santos win against BDF XI in Molepolole tomorrow, Toronto’s efforts would count for nothing. Notwane captain, Nelson ‘Nakata’ Moreetsi, admits that Gunners’ game is going to be an emotional one for them. He said though they know what is at stake, their supporters have to come in numbers to rally behind them.

“This is the time when we need them (supporters) most because the future of this club is at stake. We’re going to do our best to win the game and we’re not going to worry much about what is happening between Santos and BDF XI,” he said.

Moreetsi showered veteran striker Tshepiso ‘Sox’ Molwantwa for motivating the players ahead of their do-or-die tie. Molwantwa’s leadership might be what Notwane need when they take on the sleeping giants from Lobatse.

“It has been a stressing season for all the players at the club. There were so many things which happened off the field which affected the players so much. If it happens that we drop, the officials would be to blame because they did little to keep us going,” added Moreetsi, whose contract has expired. The hard-working midfielder did not want to discuss his future saying that his focus is on helping Notwane to survive.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

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