Sunday, July 14, 2024

Petersen appeals to Notwane fans not to despair

Notwane started the 2014/15 beMOBILE Premier League on a high note beating city rivals Gaborone United 3-2 in a match played at UB Stadium on August 8 last year. This raised the expectations of their fans that this might be their season. After huffing and puffing in the previous season, their die-hard fans had all reasons to believe that finally the gods might be smiling on them. Since then, Toronto has posted mixed results something which has seen coach, Innocent Morapedi, being shown the exit door. Whilst many believed that Morapedi might be the right man for the job – with little patience- it was not to be as the fans were not happy with the results.

Chris Rabalago followed but having been in and out of the club before; the management felt that there was a need to bring in someone new. At the time, an outsider was an alternative because of the belief they brought a different mentality. In late November, little-known South African coach, Calvin Petersen, was announced as the new man to steer the sinking ship forward.

Though little was known about his coaching credentials here in Botswana, Notwane management have so much confidence in him. Those within Notwane camp say that the team is slowly improving under his guidance. “If we can improve in certain departments, I have no doubt that we’ll improve under his (Petersen) guidance. Obviously he is new in Botswana and some people will cast doubt about his credentials but he’s a smart tactician,” said a source close to Notwane.

Last Sunday at the SSKB Stadium, Petersen watched haplessly from the dugout as his side squandered numerous scoring chances against Gaborone United. In the end, it took the experience of United to beat Notwane 2-1. It was the ninth loss of the season for Toronto boys and without doubt time is ticking. Petersen could be seen kicking water bottles in frustration as his players failed to punish their opponents. Ahead of what promises to be another tough assignment against the unpredictable Police XI at Molepolole Sports Stadium this afternoon, Petersen said there is a need for his youthful squad to start picking up the points. “My boys gave a good account of themselves against Gaborone United on Sunday but we failed to utilise the chances we created. Hopefully (against Police XI) we’ll continue with the same performance and convert the chances that come our way. We know what we’re in for against Police XI and we’ll have to come with a good game plan,” said Petersen.

The South African-born tactician pointed out that there is a need to work hard in the remaining 14 games of the season in order to keep Notwane in the topflight. Though he has not been given a mandate by the management, Petersen said his plan is to see Notwane competing in the Premier League next season.

“Remember I’m still new here and it will be difficult to tell you what I want. The most important thing is to ensure that Notwane remain in the Premier League then we can talk about other things next season. Obviously I would like to finish in the top 8 bracket but I know it is going to be difficult,” he continued. Ahead of the game against the Jungle Kings, Notwane are lying on the tenth spot with 17 points from 16 matches. They have scored 21 goals and conceded 27. “I would like to appeal to our fans not to despair and rally behind the team. It is during times like this that we need their support,” he said.


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