Sunday, March 3, 2024

Northern teams in relegation quagmire

It doesn’t rain but pours for northern teams in the be-MOBILE Premier League. Although there are nine matches to go, there is a possibility that three northern teams will relegate to the First Division.

Currently all the bottom four placed team are from the north’ being Green Lovers from Serowe, BR Highlanders from Mahalapye, Motlakase Power Dynamos from Palapye and even Selibe Phikwe side, FC Satmos. Only a miracle will save Satmos as they are rooted at the bottom with eight points from the second bottom placed Motlakase Power Dynamos. 

If it happens that three teams from the north are finally relegated, it will be sad news indeed because for the past few years residents of these areas enjoyed Premier League action they had not seen in ages. Previously it was only those teams from Gaborone and surrounding areas and to some extent Francistown that were represented in the elite league. The situation seemed to have balanced a bit but things seem to be going where they were before.  Currently the only team in the north that seems to be having a stable sponsorship is Orapa United that is backed by the mine. Orapa United is currently occupying the second spot on the league and only two points behind leaders, Township Rollers. Selibe Phikwe side, Nico United also used to enjoy backing from the BCL mine, but the current financial doldrums facing the mine seem to have affected the team. Sports analyst and Motlakase official, Monty Gagomokgwa decries the situation saying it is indeed sad for the northern part of the country. 

“As people from the north, we definitely do not want to see a single team relegating to the lower division but we would just like the teams to increase. Seeing four teams from the north being early relegation candidates definitely shows that something is wrong,” he said. Gagomokgwa however stressed that the main challenge facing most teams from the north is resources. He said most of them do not have sponsors and work on shoe string budgets.  “Teams from the north should do more to market themselves and attract sponsors from big companies or else they will continue to hop between the Premier league and even the First Division. Almost all good players from the northern part of the country are heading to the south to teams that have ample resources,” he said. Meanwhile Gaborone United’s Moatlhodi Ralesotla together with Orapa United’s Thabang Sesinyi are the joint leading goal scorers with 12 goals.


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