Ahead of their last game of the 2013/14 Premier League campaign away to Motlakase at Swallows Ground this afternoon, Police XI chairman Solomon Mantswe has commended his side for performing beyond their expectations in their maiden season in the Premier League. The Jungle Kings go into the game today in position seven and their position can improve if they gain maximum points in Palapye.
“If anyone says we underperformed this season that would not be fair. It is not easy to survive in your first season let alone end up in top eight. We could have done better if it was not because of the six consecutive losses we suffered recently. I remember that at some stage we were in the neck-to-neck with Gaborone United (who are sitting on position four) and maybe we could be singing a different tune if it was not because of the losses. Police XI were their own enemies in the games we lost,” said Police XI boss.
The Jungle Kings got promoted at the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign following their de-registration in 2012 after they failed to meet the deadline of paying Botswana Football Association (BFA) subscription fee. “It was a painful experience since it was the first time happened to a top-flight team in Botswana. I think we learnt a lot from that going forward.
We’re not blaming anyone for our mishap and all we’re saying is that the case could have been handled better,” the police boss continued. After their performance of his little-known players this season, Mantswe noted that it is important to give them a well-deserved break to recharge their batteries. He believes that his players earned a valuable experience this season which will benefit them next season. “It was a learning curve for the players and I can assure you that we have identified our weaknesses this season and we’ll rectify them. We’re going into the market to beef up our squad. While the players will be resting, we’ll meet with the technical committee to see who we need to bring in,” he said. Mantswe who has never hidden his love for young players pointed out that some of the players they would be signing will come from their development side, Mogobane United.
He said that it is important to have young players in the team who would take over once the seniors fade away. “This season we had four youngsters in our starting line-up. We have some intelligent and talented youngsters in the development and we’ll keep on promoting them,” he said. The other issue which Mantswe feels that it is of utmost importance in the season ahead is marketing the club. He said that recruiting supporters as an institutional side has always been a challenge but he remains confident that things will change soon. He pointed out that they will start their recruitment within the force before spreading their wings outside.
“Our PRO (publicity officer) Jason Chabota is leading our campaign and they will not relax during off-season. We will be happy if we can have at least 100 supporters rallying at every home game,” he concluded. Police XI recently got a sponsorship worth P1 million from Dynamics Insurance Brokers which will run over two seasons.