Several Botswana players in the South African money spinning Premier League have started the current football season well, banging goals in regularly.
Unfortunately, others are watching from the sidelines because they do not get regular game time.
Leading the pack for those enjoying the game is Cape Town-based duo of Diphetogo Selolwane and Mogogi Gabonamong.
Selolwane has been on fire since the beginning of the league campaign. He is proving critics wrong because he was transfer listed by his club, Ajax Cape Town, before the beginning of the season. Selolwane, on the other hand, is indeed doing a great job for his coach, Murshin Ertugral, who has shown faith in him.
He was transfer listed before Ertugral arrived and he reversed it. Selolwane, so far, has a total of five goals in his pocket, three in the Premier League campaign while the other two were scored in the lucrative MTN tournament in which his team has reached the finals to be played in two weeks’ time.
Selolwane also seems to be scoring at crucial moments. He normally comes to the rescue when chips are down as was the case with their midweek game against Platinum Stars when he scored the only goal of the match.
Gabonamong is indeed captain fantastic and is also proving that he is not a leader by mistake. He has been the leading figure in Santos’ impressive run in the league. His man marking prowess haunts many strikers in South Africa.
Strikers like bulky Nkosinathi Nhleko of Kaizer Chiefs are finding it hard to beat him.
The going seems to be a bit rocky for the future prospects of Botswana players, Jerome ‘Jay Jay’ Ramatlhakwane, who is playing for Santos, and Phenyo ‘Mzambiya’ Mongala of Orlando Pirates.
Ramatlhakwane was the leading goal scorer for Botswana’s Premier League before heading to South Africa.
Mongala, on the other hand, was a revelation for his previous team in the First Division, University of Pretoria. He even made an immediate impact when he joined Pirates about three months ago, scoring a memorable goal against English Premier League giants, Manchester City, in a pre-season encounter.
Ramatlhakwane joined Santos almost a year ago and was immediately given a run by former coach, Major David Bright. He made his presence felt by scoring a memorable equaliser against Orlando Pirates.
After that, he unfortunately got injured and was laid off for some time. Ramatlhakwane has since got healed and is struggling to break into the first team. What compounds the situation for Ramatlhakwane is that the team is currently doing well and the coach would not want to tamper with the winning formation.
The former Mochudi Centre Chiefs player has, however, expressed optimism that it is only a matter of time before he makes it into the first team. Speaking to Sunday Standard from Cape Town, Ramatlhakwane said his coach had promised to field him in some of the upcoming matches.
“It is every player’s wish to be in the first team and that is no exception with me. I am more than ready and raring to go; I have spoken to coach Bobbie Solomons who has promised to use me in the upcoming matches,” he said.
Another local player yet to see action at Santos is Boitumelo Mafoko who joined the club from Township Rollers in the past transfer window. On the other hand, the duo of Pontsho Moloi and Noah Maposa is campaigning for the First Division side Bay United in Port-Elizabeth. They are yet to be full fledged regulars because they joined the team late.
They also struggled to obtain their work permits.