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Rollers feeling the pressure

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Township Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto says it is not easy to be an established league giant that is Rollers. All teams are after Rollers’ blood, he says.

Speaking ahead of their game against archrivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs (MCC) in Gaborone today, Pheto explained that there is immense pressure on their shoulders that comes with playing underdogs, especially with the league now coming to an end.

“When our opponents prepare for games, they target big teams like us, they want either a win or a draw and this means that the game will be very intense and full of surprises,” he said.
It does not help that Rollers are the defending champions and downing a champion is what most young teams enjoy bragging about to boost their confidence. However, with MCC, it is a different ball game altogether as their rivalry dates back to the olden days.

Pheto said that they face a wounded Chiefs, coming from another tough assignment in the far areas of Chobe. Rollers narrowly defeated Kazungula Fighters in the Orange FA Cup tournament this past weekend.

Pheto said it is because they were playing in a different environment that somehow impacted on their play. He acknowledged that the current team performance was not top notch as they often realize a few downfalls.

Having lost out in defending the Mascom Top 8 trophy, Rollers is hoping to at least win the 2019 league title. Adding to their worries, Pheto said it proves difficult to play the league, cup tournament and honour national team call -ups.

The players, he said often show signs of fatigue, “It is not an excuse and I believe those in charge of fixtures are also chasing their own deadlines. In fact, FIFA says 48 hours rest is enough for players so we should soldier on,” he said.

Rollers is amongst teams that often has a high number of players participating at national team level and with the CHAN qualifiers coming up next week, the likes of Segolame Boy and Tumisang Orebonye will probably be travelling to Seychelles with coach Mogomotsi Mpote.

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Mascom Top 8 final too big for referee Derrick Marks?

Joe Brown

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Referee of the tournament Tshepo Gobagoba overturned referee Derrick Marks's decision to disallow Rollers' goal.

Referee Derrick Marks was not only the centre man on the pitch but was also the centre of controversy when he made questionable decisions in the early and late stages of the fiercely fought Mascom Top 8 final clash between familiar foes Township Rollers and Orapa United late Saturday afternoon at the Obed Chilume Stadium in Francistown.

Orapa United were eventually crowned the Season 9 champions after winning 4-3 on penalties following a 1-all stalemate in 120 minutes of scintillating football, but Township Rollers may feel hard done by two second half decisions where referee Marks denied them what was a clear goal by Tumisang Teenage Orebonye while a clear penalty incident was also shrugged off by the referee after Tlhalefang Molebatsi was blatantly tripped inside the box.

 

STORY BY JOE-BROWN TLHASELO 

As if the refereeing blunders against Rollers were not enough, Orapa United too, looked to have sealed the game in the 111th minute when Mbatshi Elias broke away and rolled the ball past substitute goalkeeper  Wagarre Dikago but the goal was controversially ruled out by Marks after the linesman on the far eastern end erroneously flagged for offside what was a legitimate goal.

Earlier in the first half, Rollers’ 37th minute goal could only be celebrated in the 42nd minute after the referee had ruled it out after he erroneously adjudged Orebonye to have fouled United’s defender Thabang Mosige who had clearly collided with his own goalkeeper Lesenya Malapela. After consultation with fourth official Tshepo Gobagoba, the goal was allowed to stand but after a protesting Edwin Moalosi of Rollers was given a yellow card for dissent following his verbal attack on referee Mark  for his mistake.

Incidentally, Marks was among the nominiees for Referee of the Tournament Award which was later given to Gobagoba. Had it not been for the blunders he made in the final, which was deservedly awarded to him, Marks would have easily won the award. In the end, his blunders did not really dent that much, what will go down as one of the best finals of the Mascom Top 8.

The first goal of the match was scored in the 33rd minute after a defensive blunder by Rollers allowed Mbatshi Ellias to speed off and go face to face with Dambe whom he beat to give The Ostritches the much-needed lead. Rollers had fairly dominated the game especially in the first 30 minutes of the game, and the goal by United came as the much-needed morale boost, allowing them to start threats of their own until recess.

In the end, it was deja vu for Rollers who similarly lost the 2014 final to BDF XI on penalties after another 1-1 stalemate. Yet, in truth, the fitness of Rollers players will be questioned as the team obviously lost steam in the latter stages of the game. It got worse when both Kabelo Dambe and Ofentse Nato forced their bench to make unplanned substitutions due to injuries.

The win by United meant that the diamond-mining town outfit joined the three other sides to have won the Mascom Top 8 twice. Gaborone United, Jwaneng Galaxy and Rollers have each won the competition twice while BDF XI won the other. The Ostriches’ victory also means Mogomotsi Teenage Mpote becomes only the second local coach to win the Mascom Top 8 after David Bright won it with Gaborone United in Season 2 of the competition back in 2013, the first time the final was played in Francistown..

Mpote, who was named Coach of the Tournament, has thanked Fate for his victory, conceding that when the game reached the penalty shoot-out stage, he left everything to Chance. “I don’t coach my players for penalty shoot-outs, it is usually up to them how they apply themselves on the occasion, and I am glad after they missed their chances during the match, they did well in converting the penalties,” he said after the match. Rollers coach Frank Nuttall congratulated Mpote and regretted that only the penalty shoot out denied them the victory when they had more chances in the game than their opponents.

His captain Simisani Mathumo missed the first penalty for Rollers when he shot straight down the post and Malapela saved. United’s Gofaone Mabaya also had his shot saved by Dikago with Rollers’ Orebonye, who was named Man of The Match, becoming the first player to score during the shoot-out. But they lost the P1.4 million prize when their shining young star, Onkarabile Ratanang blew his kick over the bar as United would go on to score all their remaining balls. At exactly 18:55, Mothusi Johnson took the P1.4 million kick and coolly converted to send the Orapa United into a frenzy.

THE TEAMS:

TOWNSHIP ROLLERS

1.Kabelo Dambe 19. Kamogelo Matsabu 21. Kaone Vanderwesthuizen 5. Simisani Mathumo
6. Onkarabile Ratanang 20. Ofentse Nato 24. Mothusi Cooper  7. Edwin Moalosi  17. Tlhalefo Molebatsi  18. Tumisang Orebonye 28. Motsholetsi Sikele

Head Coach: Frank Nuttall

ORAPA UNITED

16. Lesenya Malapela 5.Mpho Kgaswane 18. Mothusi Johnson 3. Mooketsi Hlabano 66. Thabang Mosige 20. Tapiwa Nyamanjiva 17. Gofaone Mabaya 94. Allen Ndodole 13. Omaatla Kebatho 9.Mbatshi Ellias 10. Onkabetse Makgantai

COACH: Mogomotsi Mpote

 

AWARD WINNERS:

Player of the Tournament: Kamogelo Matsabu

Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Lesenya Malapela

Top Goalscorer: Tumisang Orebonye

Best Coach: Teenage Mpote

Best Referee: Tshepo Gobagoba

Assistant Referee: Tilolo Molefhe

 

 

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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