The early years of the century were terrible ones for the country’s top teams like Township Rollers and Gaborone United. Both teams were relegated to the lower First Division, leaving a void in the Premier League.
It took both teams some time to bounce back into the Premier League because it is really tough in the lower division. Both teams have since bounced back and even gone to the extent of winning league championships. One so-called big team that is facing the prospect of going down is Notwane, which is one of the oldest teams in Botswana.
For the past few years, the relegation axe was always hovering over Notwane and they always escaped it in the last matches but this time around, it looks like only a miracle would save them.
They have mathematical chances of surviving but looking at the way the league is standing at the moment, one of Notwane’s legs is already in the First Division.
Notwane are currently lying on second position from the bottom. What makes Notwane’s position even more difficult is the fact that they have played two games more than Tafic, the team that could be key to Notwane’s survival.
Tafic have 26 points and have two matches in hand compared to Notwane. Tafic would not want to be in a precarious position and will fight with all they have to survive.
Notwane have 20 points and for them to move to the safest position, which is fourth from the bottom, they have to win all their three matches. Provided other teams do not post positive results.
Notwane is seen as one of those teams in Botswana that have serious youth structures and have produced many good players in the process. The main challenge for them is the fact that they are finding it hard to hold on to those players. Many of them have moved to other teams and are doing marvelous jobs.
Some Notwane players have already given up the prospect of staying in top flight football and are already seeing themselves playing in the First Division next season.
One of the players, who spoke to Sunday Standard on condition of anonymity, stressed that even the morale among the players is very low. “We lost a number of our good players over the years and they have not been easily replaced. Welfare of the players is also a challenge at Notwane and that negatively affects them. The way we lose matches has even killed winning rhythm and the young players are finding it hard to do their best. In all honesty, we are out unless a miracle happens.
Just look at the league standings and you will see what I am talking about,” he said.