The second round and the most exciting stage of the Premier League is half way through the programme. Once it is over it will be joy and sorrow among the participating teams. Other teams will be celebrating their success while others will be heading to the dusty First Division. Regardless of the outcome, it is the players who make things happen on the field of play. Some players were outstanding while other were a bit disappointing.
In most cases, those that are excelling are mainly youngsters who are hungry for success and who are making names for themselves. Also, others mainly excel because they had bad spells in the past and want to prove that their legs can still carry them for years to come. Some such players are Ntesang ‘Mirror’ Shimanyana, Kebatlogetse ‘Go Man’ Batsweletse (Gaborone United (GU), Kgololo Leteane, Tiroyamodimo Mohambi, (Extension Gunners), Elijah Phriepa (Mochudi Centre Chiefs), Thapelo Sethebethe and Ringo Rangomo (Uniao Flamengo Santos).
Before the current season started the above mentioned players were not known and less popular. But currently they are some of the most respected because they have been playing extremely well for their teams.
Shimanyana joined GU from Molepolole-based side, Masitaoka. While still at Masitaoka, he was selected for the under 20 where his exploits and talents were spotted. Although he is still young, the few games he played for GU have earned him accolades amongst GU supporters. What makes him unique is his passes and physical roughness. When in possession, it is not easy to dispossess him. It is not easy to predict his next move and his passes are tricky to deal with and GU scored several of their goals courtesy of him. His recent memorable game was against Tasc at UB Stadium. GU were trailing by a solitary goal and not much time was left. After his introduction, he turned the tables and contributed to the second and winning goal.
Batsweletse, on the other hand, played for Nico United and Mochudi Centre Chiefs before but was always under obscurity. Since joining GU almost every soccer fanatic in Botswana knows him.
Batsweletse is mobile in the midfield and can easily defend while launching attacks at the same time. Just a fortnight ago, as his team trailed Gunners by two goals to one, he came on as a substitute. A few minutes later, he headed an equaliser and GU went on to win the game 3-2.
Gunners are going to have difficulties in keeping Leteane next season. Many teams are going to knock on Gunners doors with hefty offers. The young lad is definitely destined for greater heights. Although Gunners are struggling, Leteane is touted by many to be the next Nelson Gabolwelwe. He is lethal on the left wing with his pace skill and height. Only 18, he can develop into a virulent player, provided he would not be easily distracted on the way. Bearing in mind that there is a shortage of naturally left footed and skillful players like him he might just fit into the national team like a glove when his time arrives.
Most defenders have not had it easy against Leteane who even goes to the extent of finding the back of the net himself. Even some of the goals Gunners strikers convert are because of him. If only he improves on his aerial strength, he would be a complete player.
On the other hand, Mohambi played for all the national junior teams in the country and the senior team is the one he is yet to feature in. For the past few seasons, he was a bit quiet at both Mogoditshane Fighters and BMC but since joining Gunners he has been firing from all corners. Currently, he is a contender for the Mascom Premier League golden boot.
Gunners might be struggling but he is scoring regularly. On the other hand, Phiriepa is slowly developing into a crafty player. Since joining Centre Chiefs from GU, every chance he gets he makes an impact. Sethebethe and Rankgomo are the vital cogs behind Santos’ good run. Santos are so far the clear challengers to league leaders, Centre Chiefs.
If the two players can be consistent towards the end, one of them might even get the golden boot award.