Five seasons, five Coaches .., an average of a coach every season. That is the story of Boteti based Orapa United. Five also happens to be the number of seasons ‘The Ostriches’ have been in the elite league.
For a team of the calibre of Orapa United, which seeks to always compete for honours, the average number of coaches and their assistants who have gone through its revolving doors is quiet staggering.
From Dominic Changwe to Maxwell Moyo to Madinda Ndlovu and now Bongani Mafu, the revolving doors of the Orapa United coaching roller coaster have welcomed, chewed and spat out some of the best foreign gaffers to grace local football.
Add to this equation the likes Nchime Modise, who led the team to Premier league promotion, Daniel Nare and now Mogomotsi Mpote, who is now currently at the helm as caretaker coach, just to mention some, the numbers gets you dizzy.
“The Orapa United job comes with a lot of pressure. Only results count and if you fail you are out of the door,” one former club personnel explained. “If you look at the points collected by Mafu before he was relieved of his duties, you will realise the team would have struggled to compete for the league title,” he said.
When reached for a comment on this matter, spokes person for the Ostriches, Kabo William, noted that they are a minor image of their sponso Debswana and they are obliged to protect the image the sponsor.
“Unlike other teams in Botswana Premier League (BPL) the team follows the protocol of Debswana just like BDF XI, Prisons XI, Police XI and Jwaneng Galaxy they to follow the protocol of their sponsors,” he explained.
He explained that ever since the departure of Ndlovu, who was the longest serving team coach, the team has never found a long term successor to his throne. He said this was due to the fact that the coaches they found never met their contractual obligations.
“We honestly do not want to bad name anyone due for this sudden changes in our coaches as they are all very good coaches but they have not given us what we expected from them,” William explained.
Concerning their immediate past coach Mafu, the Orapa United PRO said while the gaffer was highly praised when he was signed to head the ostriches in January, he however lost touch of what was expected of him along the line.
William said the coach had a tendency of taking personal off’s and the team would only train on Tuesdays which affected their fitness.
Meanwhile, the Orapa United said while the search for a new coach is expected to start very soon, for fear of changing and chopping the technical team, management has decided to stick with caretaker coach Mpote until the end of the season.
While William could not tell whether Mpote will be given the job permanently, a source close to the club said the period as caretaker coach will give the management a chance to see whether he has what it takes to lead the club’s technical team.
“It is an opportunity for Mpote to place himself on the shopping window. If he succeeds, he will be given the reigns permanently. If he fails, the club will look outside our borders for a long term coach,” said the source.