In almost every league around the globe, there are always those players who are always the centre of attraction for a variety of reasons.
Others do so mainly because of their mesmerising skills always leave their opponents flummoxed.
There are also others who are popular mainly because of their killer instincts. Such players are always hungry for success and, regardless of what they achieve, they always want to achieve more. There are, however, an infamous bunch that always scares their opponents and can easily put other players’ careers either on hold or bring them to an abrupt end. Such players are considered dirty mainly because of their bone crushing tackles.
The most unfortunate thing about them is that once they get injured, it takes time for them to fully recover. Like in any other leagues, dirty players are available in the Mascom Premier League. Some of them have even gone to the extent of nearly destroying careers of promising local strikers.
Most of such players are defenders and some of those who fall into such a category are Uniao Flamengo Santos’ Pius Kolagano, Bosarutweng ‘Booster’ Magola (Gaborone United), Tumisang Sekanonyana, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu (BMC), Goboyeone Selefa (Mochudi Centre Chiefs) and youthful Police XI’s hardman, Moreetsi Mosimanyana.
From his days in the national youth teams to the national team, Kolagano has been both hard and a rough tackler. Once faced with nimble strikers, he does all he can, eventually resorting to dirty work. South African First Division side, Nathi Lions, once signed him and when he was about to join Premier League side, Platinum Stars, he was accosted by an injury that forced him to come back home.
Magola is one defender who is excellent in man marking scenarios but, in situations whereby strikers outpace him, he would rather go for fouls. Sekanonyane’s presence on the field of play is always felt because he is a proven man marker who rarely gives the opposition strikers space.
At times he is a different defender who goes for fouls just from the first whistle. It is also rare for him to go unpunished in almost every game his team, BMC plays. Taking into consideration that his team is currently fighting for relegation, he has ignited his gear a bit. Ramohibidu, on the other hand, operates on the left wing. Depending on the formations the coach applies, he can operate either as a left back or a left winger and has an incredible pace.
Then there is Selefa who is bad news once he becomes more defensive. Chinese Olympic football team coach, Ratomir Dujakovic, once described Selefa as an excellent and horrible defender. That was last year after Botswana humiliated China 4-0 during the Sasol Eight Nations tournament in South Africa.
Dujakovic said Selefa played a vital role in Botswana’s famous victory but his tackles deserved marching orders. He added that if he reduced his rough play, he could go places. It must be borne in mind that Selefa then did not give the skillful, tactical and quick Chinese strikers a chance to maneuver around. Even in the Premier League Selefa is like that and normally escapes with yellow cards.
The former Notwane man’s tackles might have helped him to win his first ever Premier League championship medal but, at times, he is terribly dirty.
And, at the age of 22, Mosimanyana is seen as someone who is going to command a regular place in the Zebras for a very long time to come. He is an anchorman of pedigree and became popular last year when he joined the Under 23s while plying his trade in the second division.
Botswana was then playing against hoodoos team Angola, which Botswana had not beaten in years. Mosimanyana received a standing ovation but was eventually sent off in a game Botswana won 2-0. Despite their strong physical structures, Mosimanyana matched the Angolans pound for pound. By the time he was sent off, he carried an injury that would sideline him for a few months.