Notwane’s new owner, Kealeboga Mogapi, said that they are not going to make major changes to their playing squad ahead of next season. This is despite the fact that the technical team is said to have presented him with a list of 22 players they intend to bring to the club.
“I want to emphasise that there is no open cheque book contrary to what many people think. I have already turned down two lists from the technical team. I think right now we need about six players to beef up some of the areas which we are thin on. I believe that we’ve to be careful on who we bring on board; we need players who will come here on merit,” said Mogapi.
Notwane have already signed Pako Moloi (Gaborone United), Kumbulani Madziba and Powell Abednico (both from Mogoditshane Fighters) and it is reported that negotiations are ongoing with a couple of players to bring to Toronto. Several other names like Lesego Lubinda (ECCO City Greens), Desire Bafana (Extension Gunners), Topo Piet (Nico United) and Tebogo Sembowa (Gaborone United) have been linked to the club. The boss hinted that he is a great fan of international midfielder Dirang Moloi who recently joined Clube Sportif Don Bosco in DRC.
“It is no secret that I’m his greatest fan and we are working on plans to bringing him back home,” he added. The business tycoon pointed out that after watching few training sessions of the club, he is convinced that the current crop have potential. He is of the opinion that the major problem at the team has been funds.
“We need players who will be loyal to the club not those who will be coming here for money. I think the players we have now have been loyal to the club despite the financial problems the club was facing. These are the players you can count on when it comes to loyalty. It will be unfair for us to dump them because we can afford to buy big names. They sacrificed for the club and saved it from relegation in the past season,” said Mogapi on Friday morning.
He has challenged Notwane players to ensure that next season they perform to expectations. He said that it is painful that for a big club like Notwane with so much history to be struggling.
“I’m not going to appreciate anything less than top eight in the coming season. There are two cups to compete for in Botswana but since we finished outside the top eight (in the past season) it means that our focus will only be on the league. It is time to rebuild the club and bring back the glory days,” he added.
Mogapi said that Notwane players need to perform in order to be considered for the national team. In the past two years none of Notwane players have been considered for the Zebras, something which Mogapi said will change under his leadership.
“I watched two of the national team’s games recently and it was disappointing to be told five of the players used to play for Notwane. That has to change and we must have players who can don the Zebras’ shirt again,” said Mogapi.
He has promised that when the season kicks off, no Notwane player will kick the ball without a proper contract and they will be paid decent salaries.