Local players at the South African Premier League are experiencing mixed fortunes.
While it is the desire for Batswana to always see an increase in the numbers of local players, there is a possibility that their numbers might decrease following the weekend developments.
The most talented of the duo of Jerome Ramatlhakwane and Dirang Moloi might see themselves back in the country or playing in the lower divisions next season.
This is due to the fact that their Cape Town based team, Vasco Da Gama were relegated after being beaten by Black Leopards in the second leg of the promotional playoffs. There was hope after both teams drew by a goal apiece in the first leg and Ramatlhakwane was on target for Vasco Da Gama. It was not to be in the second leg as Leopards ran riot and won by three goals to one.
The future of the two players is uncertain but some teams might be watching them.
Ramatlhakwane is the one who looks more marketable and might easily join another Premier League club.
He has been doing wonders for Botswana in the qualifications for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations and is among the leading goal-scorers for the tournament and has helped Botswana to qualify for their maiden appearance.
He joined Vasco Da Gama on loan and might make it back to them. But before he left, Ramatlhakwane was frustrated because of lack of game time at Santos. But he proved the coach wrong by doing wonders at the national team.
The few matches that Moloi played were worth watching because he produced his renowned magical touches but started to warm the bench latter on and, coincidently, the team started performing dismally.
Whether he will return home, relegate with his team or find another one remains to be seen.
Efforts to get comment from both players proved futile but after Vasco Da Gama’s loss to Black Leopards, Ramatlhakwane said on Facebook that the door that closes should open the other one.
There is, however, a ray of hope for other two Botswana ambassadors’ in South African football being coach David Bright and goalkeeper Modiri Marumo.
They are both at Port-Elizabeth-based side, Bay United. After missing by a whisker to get promoted to the elite league, they still stand a chance. They have to battle it out with Black Leopards for the final place of the Premier League in a two legged encounter.