Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The resurgence of community teams

It looks like it is only a matter of time before Township Rollers are officially crowned the 2009/2010 league champions.

The team has been in impeccable form and, in addition, they have been scoring an avalanche of goals in almost all matches they play.

Currently, they are the team to have scored the highest number of goals in the league.
Before the weekend matches, Rollers had scored 74 and conceded only 20 goals.
Township Rollers’ rich vein of form, on the other hand, signals the serious surge of community teams.

For the past three years, community teams have been unstoppable, winning not only the league but the Coca-Cola tournament. The last non community team to win the league championship was Ecco City Green, four seasons ago, then under the tutelage of Barry Daka.

After then it was Mochudi Centre Chiefs that finished the Premier League without a single loss.
Then came Gaborone United that won it on the last day of the league calendar.
This season all eyes are on Rollers who are looking forward to repeat the feat they last staged five years ago. The performance of Rollers is definitely putting the institutional teams on the defensive.

Institutional teams include the likes of BDF XI, Police XI and Prisons XI. There was a time when institutional teams were much more superior as they won almost everything on offer every season.
That was from the mid nineties for up to ten years.

Institutional teams even included the likes of Mogoditshane Fighters and Tasc. Fighters and Tasc are not considered institutional but are led by some members of the disciplined forces.
The spokesperson for Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Clifford Mogomotsi, told Sunday Standard that it was a worrying trend when institutional teams were dominating the local soccer. He said those teams would recruit as many players as they wanted but only a few would end up playing while others were just warming the bench.

Mogomotsi emphasized that the reason institutional teams no longer dominate is because of a variety of factors. He said currently, regardless of whether one is a good player or not, they have to go through the necessary channels of recruitment.

“For a person to enter into the disciplined forces there are set minimum requirements. In the past such qualifications were flouted and that led to many players joining such teams and that is also why they were superior,” Mogomotsi said.

Mogomotsi also added that nowadays football is being commercialised and players have contracts that have to be honoured.

“In the past when institutional teams wanted players they would just recruit them but now serious negotiations have to take place. This then results in teams that lose players to get a good prize in return. In the past the rewards were very little. Generally the playing field was not level but now we are able to compete,” he said.

Mogomotsi also regretted the fact that some of the excellent players who still join the likes of BDF, still struggle to find game time despite immense talent they have. Some of such players include the likes of Jones Kwape, Molatedi Mabina and Stanley Tsolope.


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