BDF XI chairman, Boikanyo Addanes, believes that his side has what it takes to compete for the league championship in the coming season. Matebele finished on the third spot in the previous campaign behind Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Nico United. “After finishing in third spot last season in the league and reaching the Mascom Top 8 final, I can safely say that we can push for the league title this season. I believe in the squad that we have and, fortunately, we have not lost so many players. We can build on last season success,” said Addanes on Monday morning. ┬á
Matebele played in a four-team tournament in Palapye at the weekend where they beat Palapye All Stars 1-0 and hammered Motlakase 4-0 late in the afternoon.
“The fortunate thing is that this time around our players have started the pre-season well as a unit unlike last season. Our technical team is there so basically we’ve got nothing to worry about,” Addanes said.
The BDF boss noted that in the past season they struggled in the first round because of the absence of some key players due to injuries and personal problems.
“This time around we want to start stronger if we entertain winning the league. We missed our goalkeeper (Michael Pepukani) in the opening league games and that hampered our chances. That is why we have brought in a quality goalkeeper (Takudwa Ndoro from Extension Gunners) and I was impressed by his performance in Palapye,” he added.
Despite losing goalkeeper Pepukani to Township Rollers and left-winger Lemponye Tshireletso to Centre Chiefs, Addanes is confident that their departure would not have a negative impact on their team.
“Yes, they were key players but I think we have players who would raise their hands and perform to the expectations of our supporters. We’ve not made wholesale changes to our team, we’ll rely on the players we have from last season and few others who have joined us,” he said.
Addanes hinted that this coming season they will introduce some unknown youngsters into the team. He said the main idea of introducing the youngsters is to build for the future so that they will not struggle when some of the senior players call it a day.
“We have to admit that some of our senior players are aging and we need to look into the future when they’re gone. Some of the youngsters we have in the team will take the league by storm,” he boasted.
The straight-talking army brigadier added that in the coming season, the only side which is likely to be a threat to their title ambitions is Gaborone United. He said both defending champions Chiefs and Township Rollers have new coaches and it will take them to adjust to the new environment.
“The other thing is that both Chiefs and Rollers have signed a lot of new players. It will take the new players some time to combine and understand the system the new coaches would have introduced,” he said.