Saturday, July 13, 2024

The godfathers of the Coca Cola Cup

When the going is all smooth and the titles rain in, it is the players who are normally given all the accolades’ and attention. Such attention would normally go on for the ages while the coaches are given raw deals.

Despite that, there are many coaches locally who have done a tremendous job either in winning the league championships or important tournaments. Some such tournaments are the Coca-cola Cup, which has been in existence in the country since 1992.

It can be borne in mind that some of such coaches are locals who defied all the odds and overcame all the challenges that surrounded them and their names are known by almost all stakeholders in football.

Despite still playing a role of an assistant coach at Township Rollers, Paul has won the Coca Cola Cup many times as a player.

While at Rollers as a player, he won it for a record three times in four years. That was in 1993, 94, 96.

Last year, as a caretaker coach, he won it with BMC where little was expected. It was the first time the Lobatse-based side won such tournament and in only their second finals; the first one having been in 1996 when they lost to Rollers by two goals without reply.
With age still on his side, Paul might even go on and win many more titles in years to come.

Surprisingly, after winning the Cup, he was given the boot a few weeks later.
But without doubt, Major David Bright is the father figure of local football. He is a historic coach and wherever local football is discussed, Bright’s name always crops up.

To date, he has already made history for Botswana by becoming the first local coach to coach in the professional Premier league in South Africa.

After Rollers, with four titles, comes Mogoditshane Fighters with three titles, with all of them won during Bright’s era. That was during 1999, 2000 and 2003.

If Bright were still involved with local soccer, he was surely going to eclipse such record.

While still at Fighters, Bright did not only win the Coca Cola Cup but also the league championships and several local tournaments.

Bright is, however, looking forward to further glorify his Curriculum Vitae. Last season, when he arrived at Cape Town Santos, the team was languishing in third position from the bottom of the league but he managed to take it to a respectable third position from the top. Bright even had a chance of winning the league, but slipped a bit in the last three games.

Banks Panene might be no more (May His Soul Rest in Peace) but his contribution is there for everybody to see.

Panene did wonders when the least was expected from Rollers. In 2004, he took Rollers from the lower First Division to the Premier League and the same year he won major titles, including the Coca Cola Cup and the league title.
Panene mainly used young and unknown players who went on to take the country by storm.

After parting ways with Rollers, Panene took over Notwane and in the same year, he won the Coca Cola Cup but under some controversy. Anyway, despite the controversies that surrounded it, Panene did his work on the field of play.

The man who has since taken charge at Notwane, Paul Moyo, might also be on his way to winning his third Coca-Cola tournament. He rejoined Notwane last season and he has two titles for himself that he won in the mid 90s.
In his team, Moyo had excellent talent that other coaches did not have. The likes of Phazha Butale, Madonsela Ngaka, Maybin Chama, Masausu Tembo, Fabian Zulu, to mention but a few, made Notwane an untouchable team.

When he arrived last season, he did not have the winning bunch, but as things stand, this season Notwane is a team to watch. The team has gone out to register good players of which, if they can play the way they did at their respective teams, they will be unstoppable.

The players to watch are the likes of robust defender, Moreetsi Mosimanyana and enterprising midfielder, Jackie Mothatego from Police XI and Uniao Flamengo Santos, respectively.


Read this week's paper