Extension Gunners’ officials were all smiles on Thursday morning after they managed to retain the services of their influential players, captain Ofentse Mmipi, free-scoring Hendrick Moyo and left winger Kgololo Leteane.
The trio has been in demand during the transfer, window which closed on Wednesday.
Leteane was linked with a move to rejuvenated Gaborone United, Mmipi and Moyo were said to be chased by their former coach Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare who has since gone over to cross-town rivals BMC. ┬á
But by close of business on Wednesday night, none of the talented trio had left Gunners, much to the relief of those close to the Gunners camp. Gunners’ chairman, William Maboane, said as a club they were delighted that they have not lost their star players.
“Gunners’ family is excited that these boys who were rumoured to be leaving have committed themselves to the club. We want to compete for honours this season and losing one of those three players would have jeopardised our intentions. We’re going to ensure that we put bonuses in place to motivate the team in the future,” said Maboane.
He revealed that Moyo has extended his contract by a further two years. It is understood that Mmipi and Leteane’s contracts will expire in June next year but the Gunners’ boss was quick to point out that they will be engaging the players soon for renewal.
The trio played a key role when Gunners won the Coca-Cola Cup in May, beating Motlakase 3-1 in a match played at the Lobatse Sports Complex. Having registered few players prior to the season opener, Maboane said they realised that the team needed to be beefed up in some departments.
Kabo ‘Branco’ Molokwane, George Mpuniki, Boitshoko Zikhale and Marshal Machedzani are some of the players who have been brought in to add the necessary experience.
On Wednesday night, Gunners landed talented midfielder Oteng Moalosi from Mochudi Centre Chiefs in what could possibly be their biggest signing of the year. But the transfer has been hit by controversy with Chiefs accusing Gunners of not following the right channels of signing the player.
Moalosi has been playing at the Kgatleng giants without a contract and it is reported that on the day, he showed interest in moving to the Peleng outfit. “We have a healthy relationship with Chiefs and we’re currently negotiating with them in regard to releasing the player (Moalosi). He is such a talented player and we didn’t hesitate when he showed interest in joining us. If somehow we didn’t follow the right channels of signing the player, then it’s up to both clubs to come to an agreement,” said Maboane. The Gunners’ chairman pleaded with supporters to rally in large numbers behind the team this season, saying there are more surprises in the pipe line. ┬áHe said his committee is rebuilding the team and they want it to go back to the 1990s when they were unstoppable.
“We’re relying on the supporters to run this massive club. By attending the games, they’ll enable us to pay the players without any problems. I would also like to inform them that the new replicas are available in Lobatse, Gaborone and Francistown and they must buy them,” he said. ┬á
Gunners recently terminated their deal with technical sponsor Dlala and have now produced their own brand.
Mapantsula have so far collected five points in their opening three league games beating Police XI and settling for draws against TAFIC and Township Rollers. Gunners host BDF XI in their next league fixture on September 10.