The curtains came down on the Debswana First Division North League (DFDNL) this past Saturday with TAFIC regaining promotion to the Botswana Premier League (BPL).
In what was an enthralling end of the season, TAFIC went into the final day knowing they would need a win to ward off the advances of Motlakase Power Dynamos, while at the bottom of the log, all teams all six were potential relegation fodder.
TAFIC, however, were in no mood to complicate things for themselves as they beat Sua Flamingoes 2ÔÇô1 to keep their two-point lead over Motlakase, who beat Chobe United 2ÔÇô0 on the day but will now have to slug it out in the play-offs if they are to gain promotion to the elite league.
At the bottom of the DFDNL, it was curtain downs for former giants FC Satmos and TASC as well as Maun Tigers who will now relegate to the lower divisions.
Commenting on the season, DFDNL secretary general Rapula Gaothobogwe said the 2016/17 season was very interesting in the north.
“For all the teams and the football spectators, this was a very interesting race. We were all entranced by the race from the beginning to the end of the season. For the first time in a long while, we experienced a great turn-up from football supporters for almost all our games,” said Gaothobogwe.
He said the quality of play was also very good in the field of play as most teams opted for some exciting young talent to go with the quality of coaches they had roped in.
“If you look at our teams, the majority of players are still youngsters with at least five to 10 years of football still left in them to play. To go with this, we had experienced coaches in the likes of Enos Mmesi and Major David Bright, just to mention but two, coming up north into our league. This really improved the quality of our league,” he observed.
“Overall, this season went well and ended well for us. We had only one protest this past season but luckily for us, there was no truth in the protest and it was dismissed. Aside from that, we only had three cases of teams not honouring matches and only one case of violence at a game. Other than that, we had no major challenges,” Gaothobogwe noted.
The DFDNL said the only challenge they faced was the lack of playing grounds, more especially in Francistown as the city had many teams in the league.
Looking forward to next year, Gaothobogwe said if the status quo remains as in the BPL and three teams from the North being relegated another great season is in the offing.
“It is not our wish to have three teams from the North relegated to the first division. But should the inevitable happen and three teams relegated from the BPL to the DFDNL, then we will have a mini BPL league in our hands next season,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, in the Debswana First Division South League (DFDSL), Sharps Shooting Stars have wrapped up their title promotion with a game to spare.
Sharps played to a two-all draw with Modipane United to gain a single point they needed to get an automatic promotion to the BTC Premiership.
The DFDSL will wrap up this coming weekend.