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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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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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