Monday, August 15, 2022

The day Tshireletso left BDF XI fans heartbroken

The transfer of BDF XI’s left-winger, Lemponye Tshireletso, to Mochudi Centre Chiefs is one of the biggest news in the current window. It is one of the transfers which left most football commentators speechless. But for those close to the army side, it left them heartbroken. The reason is simple; he was the livewire for Matebele ever since he joined the club from FC Palapye some years ago.

It was his runs down the left and well-taken free-kicks which left most opponents buried whenever they took on BDF XI. He was simply a nightmare to the defenders whenever they faced BDF XI. At the army barracks in Mogoditshane, Tshireletso has become a household name. But that was then.

When Tshireletso returned from the Zebras’ campaign at the Cosafa Senior Challenge early last month, rumours started spreading that Tshireletso had resigned from the army and had been snapped up by Chiefs.

BDF XI approached the star winger but he is understood to have given the officials assurances that he remained committed to Matebele. Those close to BDF XI, including chairman Boikanyo Addanes, never saw the transfer happening. In all honesty, Matebele did everything in their power to keep their influential star at the barracks.

While Chiefs’ supporters gave their new recruit a standing ovation as he walked onto the pitch against Nico United in the Kabelano Charity Cup last weekend, for BDF XI supporters it was a bitter pill to swallow. It was hard to appreciate that Tshireletso had swapped the red and green army colours to black and white.

As BDF XI prepare for life without Tshireletso who was inspirational for the club last season, especially in the Mascom Top 8 Cup where Matebele lost 2-1 to Gaborone United in the final, BDF XI chairman, Brigadier Boikanyo Addanes, admits that the winger had left him with an unbearable pain.

“As much as we can try to put up a brave face, the truth is that his departure has left us in pain. After giving us assurances that he’s not going anywhere, it was a shock to see him joining Chiefs. Honestly, Chiefs were never in the picture because it was Township Rollers who were after his signature. Despite all this, he has served us well and he has our blessings,” said Addanes.

The army brigadier believes that though Tshireletso has left, his side has enough arsenal to replace their departed hero. According to him, Matebele have signed a number of youngsters who will take the league by storm.

“We’re looking into the future and we’ve about nine players who are under the age of 23. We’ll definitely find another FC (Tshireletso) in the youngsters we have. We’ve also brought Khumbulani Madziba from Fighters who we believe can give us depth on the left,” said Addanes.

In other news, Addanes dismissed speculations that they priced out defensive midfielder Boitumelo Mafoko out of the local market. It is reported that Matebele asked for P550, 000 when BMC came knocking for the former Zebras’ international. “We put a figure on the table which we felt was okay for a player of Mafoko’s calibre. Please note that he still has a contract with us,” said Addanes.

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