It might be too early to make predictions of the on going Mascom Premier League, but the development at Selibe Phikwe outfit, Nico United, might end up condemning them to the lower division in the next season. The team is displaying one of their worst ever performances as they continue to lose game after game. Currently, Nico United are the only representatives of Selibe-Phikwe town in the elite league and relegation would be a big blow to the town and its environs such as Mmadinare and Bobonong. Until last year, there were two teams in Phikwe and one, FC Satmos, has since been relegated to the first division. There is even no guarantee that Satmos would bounce back because they are facing stiff competition from teams such as Miscellaneous from Serowe and Great North Tigers from Francistown. Just two years ago, Phikwe had three teams in the elite league but another team, Mosquito, is on a devastating downward spiral. They are now campaigning in the second division after tumbling from the first division last season. What is so surprising about Nico is that the team has a pool of experienced coaches and the players.
Coach Madinda Ndlovu once coached Rollers and took them to the last stage before the group stages of the Africa championship competition. Even by the time Ndlovu left Rollers, he was not doing badly. Starting from the goalkeeper to the striking force, Nico are spoilt for choice. Goalkeeper Chrispen Nyamutamba is the envy of every coach in the country but how he concedes goals remains a big question. The maverick Zimbabwean goalkeeper has also a water tight defence in front of him, made up of Eric Molebatsi and Gosetsemang ‘Laedza’ Baruti. Up front, they have the likes of experienced DRC international, Oliver Kayombo and former Satmos hitman, Thobo Kgoboge. Majombolo, as Nico are dubbed, trail the league and if they cannot quickly put their house in order, they are on their way to starving the Phikwe region of Premier League action.
Nico, somehow, are their own enemies. Last year, they fired one of the best coaches in the country, Guston Mutobo. Since then Nico have been struggling. Even last season, they finished in an unimpressive position. Mutubo then started the league well as Nico were on top of the table for some time. But after the second round started, cracks of sour relations between Mutobo and the management developed. Nico is credited for producing many good national team players such as incumbent Satmos coach, Mooketsi ‘China’ Mading and Busang ‘Booster’ Moalosi.