Friday, June 21, 2024

No fan-fare as transfer window closes

There was no fanfare in Botswana as the January transfer window closed on Thursday night.

Unlike in past years, there were no last minute signings which attracted the interest of the football loving people. Local giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United (GU), who will be taking part in the CAF club championships added just three new faces to their stables.

Township Rollers signed 13 players in a bid to wake up from slumber. Since the beginning of the season Mapalastina have not been impressive and their supporters would be hoping for better luck when the league resumes.

If there was a signing that could have taken most people by surprise, it was that of goalkeepers Kagiso Tshelametse and Raphael Nthwane who joined GU and Chiefs, respectively. Tshelametse joined GU from Motlakase in Palapye while Nthwane was released by BMC at the beginning of the year.

Tshelametse had been out of the game for five years before signing for Motlakase at the beginning of the season. The towering former Zebras’ goalkeeper has signed for one and half years at the Reds and he has promised not to disappoint.

“I have no doubt that I still possess the qualities of playing for a bigger club like GU. It is an honour for them to have shown confidence in me and I’ll do what it takes to deliver. I know that some people have written me out but for a club like GU to sign me it goes to show that I’m a quality goalkeeper. Football is in my blood and I’m not going to let people distract me with their negative minds,” said Tshelametse on Friday.

At the age of 32, Tshelametse believes that he is still young for a goalkeeper. In his own words, goalkeepers are like wine and they get better with age.

“The only thing I have lost in my five year absence is fitness and confidence. Once I work on the two, I can assure you that I’ll be there at the top in no time. All I need to do is to focus on my game and repay GU for their confidence in me,” Tshelametse said. The outspoken goalkeeper is expected to compete with Noah Maposa for the first-choice spot at GU. Tshelametse said he would not like to be judged by his name but his performance in training.

Nthwane returns to Chiefs after years which have seen him playing for Nico United, Extension Gunners and BMC. While he played a major role at Gunners thus helping them to win the Coca-Cola Cup title in 2011, it is at BMC where he was reduced to a benchwarmer.

BMC preferred Zimbabwean custodian Takudzwa Ndoro ahead of him something which saw the management taking a decision to put him on transfer. With Chiefs facing a problem in the goalkeeping department and with the clock ticking away, Nthwane is said to have been the last option.

“There were no goalkeepers available and with Wrist (Mompoloki Sephekolo) who is the first choice injured, we had to go out there and get someone who is available. It was a deal which was done hours before the transfer window closed on Thursday. He has signed a short-term contract which will be performance based,” said a source close to Chiefs.

At Rollers, the only recognized names which were brought in are midfielder Kaone Molefe who rejoins the club from city rivals GU and left-winger Lovemore Murwira from ECCO City Greens. Murwira has been on Rollers’ radar since August but their supporters would be grateful that he has finally put pen to paper. Former Notwane goalkeeper Botlhe Moralo has also signed to put pressure on upcoming youngster Bobby Mathe who has been fantastic since the beginning of the season.

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