Monday, July 4, 2022

Santos poised to sweep Coca-Cola awards

Just like Gaborone United did with the be-Mobile Premier League awards, Uniao Flamengo Santos look set to sweep the Coca-Cola awards slatted for tomorrow (Monday) at the Gaborone International Convention Centre.

By virtue of being champions and, for that matter, for the first time in their history, Santos is up for a glorious night.

The team is set to walk away with three major awards, being the Fair Player of the tournament, Best Goalkeeper, and the Best Coach of the Tournament.
Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso Ngele’ is a hot favourite to walk away with Fair Player of the tournament. The other two nominees are Patrick Motsepe and Mokgathi Mokgathi from BDF XI.

Coach Clever Hunda is pitted against Stanley Mwaanga of BDF XI and Moeteledi Chaenda of BDF XI.

Boitumelo ‘Safe Hands’ Kediseng will be sweating it out with Khalid Niyondzima of BDF XI and Noah Maposa of Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Ngele played a pivotal role for his team from the onset of the tournament to the very last game. His silky football basics, coupled with skill, made it difficult for many defenders to contain him.

Even in the finals, he gave no nonsense defender of BDF XI, Mompati Thuma, a torrid time.

Most of the goals Santos scored were orchestrated by Ngele and undoubtedly he deserves the prize. It can be borne into mind that even in last year’s Coca-Cola Cup, Ngele was a thorn in the flesh for many teams but, unfortunately, his team lost 5-2 to Centre Chiefs in the finals.

Nevertheless he ended up being the leading goal scorer.

Since decamping from GU to Santos, Kediseng seems to have found a new home indeed and it was not surprising to see his team winning the tournament. Just like any other player, he had his shortcomings but in general he was outstanding. Even in the finals, saved two penalties.

The Serowe-born goalkeeper might be short but it is not easy to beat him from close range.

Maposa looks to be out because his team was knocked out in the semi-finals, while Niyondzima failed to save even a single penalty in the finals.

Since coming to Botswana more than fifteen years ago, Hunda has never won a major tournament and winning the Coca-Cola Cup came as a huge achievement for him.

He was mainly known as a stop gap coach who only comes in for damage control, especially towards the end of the season. He has saved many teams from the brink of relegation and winning the Coca-Cola Cup surprised even himself.

When Hunda joined Santos, he managed to transform the team that had serious internal problems into a formidable one. The problems saw some senior players suspended. That even made things worse for Hunda because he was left with an even thinner squad. Hunda defied the odds and lifted the country’s prestigious tournament using mainly youngsters.
The will also be media awards.


Read this week's paper