After a long wait and expectations on the part of the supporters, the 2012/13 be MOBILE Premier League season kicked off yesterday with Mochudi Centre Chiefs expected to fight hard to defend their title.
As it has proven in the past, retaining the title is not an easy task. As is the norm, each and every season has its usual suspects when it comes to lifting the trophy. Sunday Standard reporter TSHEPO MOLWANE picks the four sides which are likely to be the front-runners.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs
Having one of the most experienced squads in our league, there is no doubt that Magosi will be clear favourites to lift the title. The good thing about Chiefs is that, like in the past five seasons, they have retained most of their players. It will be interesting to see if the departure of Joel Mogorosi, who has moved to Bloemfontein Celtic in South Africa, would not affect their performance. There is no doubt that on their day Chiefs are unstoppable. The other plus for Chiefs is that coach Madinda Ndlovu remains at the helm of the Kgatleng giants despite rumours that he was heading for the exit door. That means there will be continuity as the players understand his philosophy. Chiefs have also added some quality with midfielders David Makakaba (Police XI) and Phenyo Mongala (Orlando Pirates) coming into the team. If they lose the title, Chiefs would have only themselves to blame as they have a strong squad which is capable of competing for every cup.
The quality in their squad says they can be strong contenders. Like it has been in the past, the Reds have been busy on the transfer market, bolstering their squad under new coach Major David Bright. The last time GU won the championship was in 2009 but since then, they have never come close. This is despite having wealthy Nicholas Zakhem as their main sponsor.
There is no doubt that Zakhem is losing patience and it’s about time the players deliver the league title. A lot will be expected from new recruits Tebogo Sembowa (Township Rollers), Tebogo Sebina (Police XI), Jackie Mothatego (Uniao Flamengo Santos) and Kaone Molefe (Notwane). ┬á
Sembowa is expected to take the burden of scoring goals alongside Ronald Chikomo and Makundika Sakala.
This is one of the most organized clubs in our league but why they have failed to seriously challenge for the honours remains a mystery. GU supporters also must come out of the closet and rally behind their side.
It was heartbreaking for Rollers’ supporters to see their bitter rivals Chiefs take away the title from them. To make matters worse, Mapalastina finished third in one of their most miserable seasons in a long time. There is no doubt that Rollers’ supporters would want something extra-special this season no matter the circumstances. Losing key players Tsotso Ngele and goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe to Platinum Stars in South Africa was a major blow. But Mapalastina will have to pick up the pieces and compete strongly this season.
Zimbabwean strikers have been brought at the club and they will have to prove to Rollers’ supporters if they have what it takes to deliver. Rollers have a new coach in Darlington Dondo and his experience will have to come handy. There is no doubt that he has been told that their supporters are the most impatient and he might be heading for the exit door if he does not deliver. The opening five fixtures will tell whether Dondo has come up with a winning team which can once again dominate Botswana football.
One thing which might hurt Rollers this season is the internal fighting, which is ongoing at the club. It is reported that Rollers’ boss, Somerset Gobuiwang, is unhappy with some of the people within the club which might affect his staying at the Gaborone West based outfit.
Ezinkomo will once again be the dark-horses this season. They surprised many football people when they came second after Chiefs last season. Their management has made it clear that they would want to win the League and this has been proved by the players they have brought in. ┬á
Thebe Maiketso, Raphael Nthwane, Musa Ohilwe and Amos Godirwang bring the experience that coach Daniel Nare needs in his challenge for honours. After being frustrated by his side’s lack of the killer instinct, Nare has gone across the border to bring two Zimbabwean strikers. The two are described as the solution to their scoring problems. Only time will tell if they are quality. Out there people might dismiss BMC but they will be serious contenders this season.