Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Now who is going to be the best of the best?

Mochudi Centre Chiefs have already pocketed this season’s Mascom Premier League and finished it with style.
Now all eyes are on the second position, which is being hotly contested for. At this point, there are no clear favourites for the position, but teams that are in strong contest for the position are Uniao Flamengo Santos, Gaborone United and Boteti Young Fighters.

As things stand, all eyes will also be on the individual awards that include player, goalkeeper and top goal scorer of the year.
The interesting award will, however, be the one for player of the season.

Several players across the Premier League teams have been outstanding, but Centre Chiefs are poised to sweep the boards. Most of their players stand out and definitely sweated blood for their team. Players like goalkeeper Noah Maposa, Tshepho Motlhabankwe, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Mpho Mabogo, Oteng Moalosi and Gobonyeone ‘Shoes’ Selefa have been in the fore front. Other players from other teams who also stand a chance are Pius Kolagano and Khumo ‘Shoes’ Motlhabane from Santos, Kenosi ‘Drums’ Mokgotlhane of Boteti and Tiroyamodimo Mohambi of Lobtrans Gunners.

Maposa did not only do a sterling job for his team, Centre Chiefs, but also for the national Under 23. He is also the reason Chiefs have so far conceded the least number of goals.

Even the two red cards he received recently in the space of three weeks seem not to dent his chances. He also has good chances for the goalkeeper of the season.

Motlhabankwe has, in several games, proved to be an ace player who knows when to cool and rev things in the team. He is also that kind of a player who never succumbs to pressure. Once under pressure, he is the one who rescues Chiefs with his never die fighting spirit. Games that come to mind are the 2-1 victory over BMC and the 4-1 win against Mogoditshane Fighters in the second round. Centre Chiefs appeared to have lost both games but Motlhabankwe lifted the team and its spirits by scoring important goals where the least was expected.

Ramatlhakwane is a strong contender for this season’s golden boot award and he is also in the running for the player of the season award. The Centre Chiefs talisman has been in blistering form this season and it would not be surprising if he moved to a team in a foreign country next season. There are already reports that he has already signed a pre-contract agreement with South African Premier League side, Cape Town Santos, where his former coach in the Under 23 team, Major David Bright, is in charge. The ‘Big Animal’, as he is affectionately called, once had unsuccessful trials in Cyprus.

Mabogo is also in the running for the golden boot award and most of Centre Chiefs goals were orchestrated by him. His bulging body helps him to easily take on the defenders and create space for his teammates to find the back of the net. The former BDF XI talisman has also since been recalled to the national team after a long absence. Moalosi, who is nicknamed ‘Limkokwing’, has had fruitful seasons at Chiefs for the past two years after leaving Police XI. He is the engine in the Chiefs midfield and most of the goals Chiefs converted were from his pinpoint crosses. He might have a fragile body but it is not easy to dispossess him.

Selefa has also developed into a complete defender since joining Centre Chiefs from Notwane. He is a man who is normally tasked with guarding dangerous strikers. His no nonsense marking has worked well for the team.

Kolagano has always been a good defender and can, at times, go to the extent of finding the back of the net. Currently, he has formed a deadly combination with Khumo Motlhabane at the back. Their partnership is one of the best in the Premier League. Kolagano is renowned for his bone crushing tackles.

Mokgotlhane might be the dark horse because his team has just come to the fore. He is one player who if focused and who can easily break into the national team. Mokgotlhane can operate on both flanks with ease. His pace and second-to-none dribbling skills has seen many defenders battling to contain him. Already, many teams are knocking on Boteti doors and it would not be surprising if next year he relocates to Gaborone.

Mohambi once had frustrating years, but he has regained his form and scores regularly. What elevates him is the fact that his team, Gunners, does not have a complementing striker to help; but that has not dampened his spirit and he continues to surge.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.