Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Nare’s Gunners appear to be re-awakening

The last time Extension Gunners won the league championship was 14 years ago. At that time, Gunners made history that looks set to take ages for any local team to break. They won the then Super League three times in succession.

Gunners then had quality players guided by none other than Zambian coach Zoom Ndlovu. 1994 was the last time the team won a major trophy and since then, they have had a mixed run.

From around 1999, the team risked being relegated to the lower division and always escaped the relegation zone by a whisker. Gunners, together with BDF XI, pride themselves of being the only teams that have never been relegated to the lower division. Gunners are the most fortune one team because by the time big guns like Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United went to the First Division, they survived in their own way.
This year the Peleng Boys are still not far from the relation zone.

Nevertheless, if their recent play is anything to go by, Gunners might finish the league run in the middle of the table. They are playing very good carpet football, but the only problem is their finishing. Tiroyamodimo Mohambi is the only solace for Gunners upfront but should he be injured or suspended, the team might find itself in deep trouble. The team drew their past two games against Centre Chiefs and Notwane before walloping Mogoditshane Fighters 2-1 at the National Stadium on Thursday. The team will, in turn, cross the swords against high-flying Gaborone United today (Sunday) at the National Stadium.

The game will actually prove whether Gunners are on course for resurrection or if their impressive performance is just a momentary thing. Although the defence is still a bit leaky, Abedinico Powell seems to have brought stability in the midfield. As a defensive midfielder, he has eased pressure from the defence that is led by the youthful Finiki Mothibi. Since the departure of Tshepo ‘Talk talk’ Motlhabankwe to Centre Chiefs, the team’s overdependence on him was immediately exposed.

Against Fighters on Thursday, Zimbabwean Nkosinathi Khumalo rose to the occasion and scored two brilliant goals. His main undoing is that he blows hot and cold and is not consistent like his partner, Mohambi. The other youngster who is always doing wonders for Gunners is Kgololo Leteane. The 18 year old is a cut above the rest and if Gunners are not careful, other teams might poach him in the next transfer window. The young lad from Letlhakane has been a thorn in the flesh for many teams. Caretaker coach, Daniel Nare, appears to be on the way to resuscitate the team he once played for in the early 90s.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.