The physically gifted and on form Jwaneng Galaxy defender Thero ‘Mahachi’ Setsile has become an unstoppable force in domestic football. Yet to reach his full potential, given his tender age of 23, Setsile has reached a milestone after becoming the BTC premiership season 2018/19 top goal scorer.
The talented star says his growing multitudes of supporters are yet to see the best of him on the pitch in the next season. The lanky and athletic defender promises to impress local supporters.
The South African bound and Maun born, 23-year-old star told Sun Sport that this past season was the very best of his football career and promises his supporters more of the ‘Mahachi’ charm.
Setsile has associated his name with the back of the net; he has been sweet to the eye, even at national level, where he made heads turn. Like lightening, Setsile would strike at high speed and leave many begging for more.
Quizzed about the terror he unleashes against his opponents on the field of play, Setsile simply said he was chasing great things and now is the time. “This season was very tough but I put in more effort, at the top of the list was the green boot and I can proudly say I got it, however, I still have more to offer in my career,” he said. Mahachi still has age on his side and the TS Galaxy opportunity came at the right time to spread his wings. Setsile will be at the club for a period of two years. He added that his heart is aching and giving him sleepless nights as he is anxious to get a feel of playing in a foreign league.
“Of course it is scary for me however I always tell myself that I have to be brave and walk a path less travelled if I want to make it as a prominent football player,” Setsile said. Taken back to the olden days when he was still seven-years-old, Setsile recalls that his father used to watch league games with him while his mother, on the other hand, warned him against playing football. Mahachi explained that his mother was very strict and it had to take a detailed convincing from his father that the mother eventually warmed up to the idea. “I am happy that I did not disappoint her and now she can look back with a smile on her face,” Setsile noted.
The young Mahachi then started playing at primary level in Francistown and one day while playing school tournaments, TASC development team was impressed by his performance and they took him under their wing. Ecco City Green would at a later stage show interest in him but his father warned him against signing a contract with a first division team. They would then move back home in Maun where he played for Sankoyo Bush Bucks in 2014/15.
“I played for only one season and a half under Coach Philane Mabhena and when he moved to Jwaneng Galaxy I followed him there,” he said with a wide smile. He and Coach Miguel Da Costa began on a rough note but in his opinion, it was a father guiding a son as he repeatedly told him that he has the ability to play four positions and can be one of the best players in Botswana. Few years down the line, his words have turned to reality as he is counted amongst the best locally.
The Senior national team care taker coach Mogomotsi Mpote, who is currently competing in the 2019 COSAFA championships in Durban, South Africa, recently mentioned that Setsile is a top performing player. Mpote explained that he was impressed by his consistence in terms of play and believed that the young man has great things in store.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”
BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet
Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.
Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe. No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.
Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.
However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”
Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.
However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.