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Nandos RETURNS

Isaac Pheko

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One of the best attacking midfielders to ever come out of Botswana, Sekhana “Nandos” Koko has retraced his steps back to Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Koko makes a surprise return to Magosi where he is expected to form part of the squad.

The speedy Molepolole native known for his nimble feet and eye for goal is expected to play for the BTC Premiership outfit on a regular basis. In an interview this week, Koko was introspective about his unexpected return to premiership football and the heart-breaking injury that saw him out of action for two years. “I have endured a long terrible and boring injury. I was injured in November 2016 and I had surgery the next month. Since then I started jogging late last year. Unfortunately, I did not get the desired physiotherapy after surgery. According to my doctor, the physiotherapy could have sped up my healing period”.

Quizzed on how long he plans to carry on with playing high-level football, Koko said he will be on the pitch as long as injuries allow him. He further added that he will be there for his beloved Magosi when they need him. Regarding any future plans to coach in the Premier League. the former Zebras midfielder said he is yet to decide on his future in the technical aspect of the game.
“I honestly did not want to retire from football without a proper goodbye to my beloved supporters and all football lovers at large. Unfortunately, my former team Jwaneng Galaxy did not have any room for me so I had to move on. I had Chiefs on my radar as they are my former club.”

Koko explained that his new agreement with his beloved Magosi does not block any room for his elevation should greener pastures emerge. Regarding his new role in the pitch, Koko said: ”It’s too early to tell, in modern football players are not restricted to positions. Players are put where the headcoach sees fit. So, let’s wait and see.”

Furthermore, Koko touched on his unceremonious exit from the reigning champions, Township Rollers. “Even though I still feel Rollers pushed me out I do not harbour any hard feelings towards them. As for Galaxy, all I can say is that they paid for my surgery. It is true that we had different views here and there but I have since moved on.” Against Sharps Shooting stars, their next appointment, Koko conceded that the Old Naledi team gave a good account of themselves when they beat the much-fancied Gaborone United in their first game of the 2018/19 season. “I think Magosi are a work in progress, so it would be a bit unfair to put them on a scale for now. Let’s wait and see how things will turn out.”

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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