Thursday, March 4, 2021

Jungle Kings on a downward spiral

Police XI is a team on a downward spiral this season and might find itself in a relegation quagmire if they don’t uplift their game.

The last time they were promoted from the First Division was in 1995 and, since then, they never looked back and went on to win major tournaments, like the league championship five seasons ago.

Things have seriously changed at the jungle Kings and just last month they fired their coach, Clever Hunda, and replaced him with the former coach, Sthandwa Mogwadi, but there seems to be little improvement.

The police side is in an uncomfortable bottom four position before weekend matches. Their situation is not helped by the fact that they lose their matches with wider margins.

Just last weekend, they were humiliated by high riders, Township Rollers, by six goals to one on Friday night at Molepolole sports complex.

Coach Mogwadi was at pains to explain one of their heaviest losses of the season. He told Sunday Standard after the match that inexperience is the main problem at the team as he is trying to re-build.

“We have many youngsters in the team and some of them are still finding it difficult to cope playing against teams like Rollers. But the result against Rollers was a lesson for us and we will go back and rectify our mistakes. After that, definitely, we will bounce back,” he said.

Since losing the services of veteran midfielder, Therisanyo ‘Tshutshu’ Haake, who retired, defenders Themba Ketshabile and towering Tebogo Tshuma, Police XI have never been the same.
Haake was the anchor man in the midfield and did all the work and damage. Ketshabile’s high work rate and his no nonsense tackles are also missed as strikers always find it easy to penetrate Police XI defence.

Tshuma, on the other hand, was a pillar at the centre back and it was not easy for the team to concede aerial goals in his presence. The surviving experienced players in the team include Ndiapo Letsholathe, Betsho Pius, Richard Mwanza, Farasai Nyamunamwendo and Dennis Kaelo.

Mogwadi pointed out that they conceded some easy goals because their defence was a bit shaky because they missed the services of Letsholathebe. He said he could not include Letsholathebe because he did not train with the team because he was still attending routine doping tests done by Botswana National Olympic Committee.

Most of the goals Police XI conceded were easy ones and they could have done better in preventing them. The main culprit was the inexperienced goalkeeper, Edwin Mokibe.


Read this week's paper