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Galaxy, GU clash tonight

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Mascom Top 8 Champions Jwaneng Galaxy will play against Gaborone United (GU) FC tonight at Jwaneng Stadium. Galaxy will be welcoming the Money Machine at their territory for the second week of the 2017/2018 BTC Premiership League games. The diamond mine-backed team is still in a jolly mood after starting the league with a 2-1 defeat over Sankoyo Bush Bucks last weekend. They come into today’s encounter, determined not to drop any unnecessary points. As the 2016/2017 league runners up, Galaxy are currently under a lot of pressure as they roll on to challenge the league honours this season.

The team has proved to be a menace to most BTC Premiership giants, GU included. Coach Mike Sithole will be forced to up his game and double his game tactics as majority will be gunning for his head this time around. Nevertheless it will not be a walk in the park to penetrate through Sithole’s charges, he is a man well- armed and will most definitely give many teams a good run for their money.

He reinforced his squad during the transfer window period and struck gold by snatching the frisky Terrence Mandaza from Township Rollers. They also have the services of troublesome Ayanda Molefhe and Lesego Molemogi from Mochudi Centre Chiefs amongst others. In an earlier interview with Sun Sports Sithole said that he had a lot on his plate and this season will be the most challenging for him, he will be making his CAF Cup debut, defending the Mascom Top 8 championship and challenging the premiership league title.

During the pre- season period he was a busy man, crossed borders for international friendly games. “Nothing is impossible, we can win the league title, it is not very far, we are thirsty for it,” he said. On the other side GU, is also capable of causing upsets today; Moyagoleele makes one of the few teams that have had a stable pre-season. Head Coach of the team Rodolfo Zapata long arrived back into the country and has been busy at work preparing for the league. In his league opening match this past Sunday, he managed to hold Magosi to a tight 1-1 goal draw.

His team showed great staying power and he managed to pose a serious threat to the MCC side. Zapata also managed to handsomely beef up his squad with the likes of Thatayaone Kgamanyane, Arnold Mampori and the speedy Dirang Moloi to mention a few.

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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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