Tuesday, June 6, 2023

What a thrilling Premier League season!

Already the champions of the Premier League have long been decided but the only area where fierce contest still rages on is the relegation battle.

This weekend the curtain will finally fall on the Premier League and before the end of today (Sunday) there will be tears of joy and sorrow as some teams will be condemned to the First Division while others will have to battle it out in the promotional playoffs.
Nevertheless, this Premier League season was one of the most interesting in the soccer circles of Botswana. It was full of challenges but football ended up prevailing.

The main challenge was the unavailability of stadiums because most of them were under renovation. This led to the fixtures being a bit congested but matches managed to be finished on time.
Stadiums such as the National Stadium, University of Botswana Stadium and the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks Stadium had to be closed for renovations and refurbishments.

It, however, took longer than anticipated to complete the work. Currently, the National Stadium is still incomplete while SSKB was finished just three weeks before the end of the league.
The alternative venues for matches around Gaborone were Molepolole and UB stadiums. However, UB had at times to be closed because the management felt it was overused.

At least next season most of the stadiums will be complete. That might present an opportunity for an additional tournament that might come along the way.

This season’s Premier League has ended with Township Rollers being champions for the tenth time in their history and thus setting a new record. Rollers are also basking in the glory of the Coca-Cola tournament, which they have just won, setting another record for having won it five times, which is more than any other team.

Just from the beginning of the league, Rollers showed intentions of winning the title by assembling a strong team, thus winning more matches that came their way.
More players were outstanding to the extent that many South African teams have shown interest in them.

This then means Rollers might lose several of them and they then have to buy more players if they aspire to win anything next season. Players who might leave the team are the likes of Terrence Mandaza, Edwin Moalosi, Itayi Gwandu, Joel Mogorosi and Kabelo Dambe.

The players played consistently throughout the season and one of them should walk away with Player of the Season award.

It looks like the next season will start with a different charity tournament because there appears to be problems with the previous organizers, Kabelano.

There have been conflicting statements between the organizers of Kabelano and the Premier League Committee during the season. The sticking point is that the Premier League wants a different charity tournament with current sponsors of the league be-mobile, while Kabelano was supposed to be sponsored by Orange.

Kabelano’s argument is that they are dealing with the Botswana Football Association, which controls football matters, but the Premier League is resolute that they would not be releasing their teams for Kabelano because they have their own tournament.

However, it looks like the upcoming season will be even more interesting because two teams with rich history have re-joined the Premier League. They have been away for about two decades and soccer fans are waiting with anticipation to see what the two teams, Miscellaneous and Black Peril, will bring to the league that other teams have failed to in past years.


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