Thursday, October 1, 2020

The falling fortunes of Tafic

Almost all top community teams have had bad spells that even meant condemnation to the lower and dusty First Divisions. Township Rollers, Gaborone United (GU), Mochudi Centre Chiefs and even Tafic have been to the First Division before. Relegation to the lower division was a tough call mainly for GU and Rollers. GU stayed for half a decade while Rollers stayed for two seasons. Others only stayed for a season only to bounce back the following year. Also almost all the teams seem to have learned a big lesson with the exception of Tafic. The team is always riddled by instability, especially at the managerial level.

Tafic used to be the toast of the Northern region. One of Tafic’s historic achievements was winning the lucrative Coca-Cola Cup in 2002. The reds of the north ‘Machimenyenga’ also used to finish in reputable positions in the Premier League. The Francistown Stadium was the team’s slaughter house, especially for those teams south of Dibete. Who can really forget big names at the club? Players like Setimela Sechele, Senjoba Senjoba, Wrist Mmusi, the late Jomo ‘Nobody’ Mosweu (May his soul rest in peace) and Carlos Tawana are some of the popular names the club used to have. Some people would have thought the team would put its house in order this season following last year’s problems at the team. The team once went to the extent of leaving the coach, Godfrey Tamirepi behind for their game against Police XI, saying he was not delivering. Tamirepi had to find his way to Gaborone and won. Tafic ended up finishing in ninth position and vowed to finish in the top four this season. But by the look of things, his team’s performance might turn out to be the worst if the current prevailing problems cannot be addressed. Already, they started the league on a low note and they are currently languishing at the bottom of the table. Supporters are blaming the team for having not bought quality players during the last transfer window to bolster the team, but the team insists they do not have money since there is no sponsorship. There are rumours that Tamirepi, who is working with little resources at the team, has been shown the door but the team is cagey with the information.

“Tamirepi has not been suspended nor fired. What is happening is that his contract expired in September and we asked him to carry on with some of the games while still reviewing his contract. Currently assistant coach, Ntime Ntime is the one who is in charge,” said Jones Mosweu, the team’s public relations officer. He would not say why it took them so long to renew his contract.

Tamirepi has for a long time been a subject for suspension but the issue was reported to have always divided the team. Other members were against the idea saying the incoming one would always face the same challenges as Tamirepi. Even some Tafic supporters once went to the extent of disrupting the team’s training ground at Leseding, demanding his sacking. But the Zimbabwean always stood his ground and worked with the little resources he had. Efforts to contact Tamirepi were unsuccessful at press time.

Mosweu, however, admits that the team’s fortunes are dwindling because of lack of sponsorship. He said the players nowadays cannot play on empty stomachs compared to yester year ones.

“Today’s players cannot be compared to yester year ones like Sechele, Mosweu and others. The yester year crop played for the love of the game no matter the problems the team had. The current crop of players needs money; if you do not give them something they ‘down their tools’. This is one of the major problems the team is facing. We do not really have resources like some of the community teams in Gaborone,” Mosweu said.

Mosweu also said the team has been going around many businesses asking for sponsorships but all in vain. He said most of Francistown’s business headquarters are based in Gaborone and it is always difficult to negotiate for a sponsorship. He appealed to Tafic supporters to always rally behind the team saying that is how they are building it.

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