Extension Gunners impressive winger-cum playmaker Ogomoditswe Sitang (27) aspires to be the best player in the country and believes he has to work extra hard to realise his dream.
Sitang expressed this after their remarkable 2-0 win over Black Forest in a Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) Premier League clash, where he was amongst the goal scorers on the day at Lobatse Sports Complex this past Saturday.
Gunners who seem to be slowly finding their footing with a couple of decent games lately, and now perched at the 7th spot on the BTC Premiership log, are hopeful to at least stay inside the Top 8 by the end of the 2018/19 league campaign to ensure their participation in the Mascom Top 8 tournament.
Sitang, who once passed through Uniao Flamengo Santos and Police XI ranks told Sun Sport that he is taking one game at a time. “I do not want to put pressure on myself but I want to eventually be able to play for any big team for financial stability and general growth as a player,” said Sitang.
Quizzed about his wishes to play for the national team one day, he said; “It is every player’s dream to represent his country at some point but it needs a high level of determination and hard work in every game we play so that we stand a better chance of being selected to the national team,” he said.
On the other hand, the former Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Botswana skilful midfielder, now interim coach at Gunners Pontsho ‘Piro’ Moloi said blending experience and youthful players is slowly paying off though it is still early.
“It is still early to get excited but I think we are on the right track, surely, we will improve as the league progresses. The youth are learning a lot from the experienced players and I believe we are playing beautiful football that has been absent in our shores for years, however there is room for improvement,” said Moloi.
Nevertheless, Moloi looked to be unsure of his future at Gunners, “I cannot say I will take over the reigns as full time Gunners coach yet, I only coached a few matches and I must not get excited. We will see what will happen as time goes on,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the relegation bound Black Forest gaffer Reetsang Letlotlo said his side’s struggles are caused by lack of more experienced players, “Most of my players are still new in the elite league hence it becomes difficult for them to deal with pressure, but I am working on that; even though the time is not on our side, we need to start collecting points,” he said.
Local boxers ready for regional tourney
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.
The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.
Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.
For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.
He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.
According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.
Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.
Branch does it again
Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.
The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.
At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.
Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.
Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.
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