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BNOC elections this weekend

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The Botswana sports landscape is expected to change drastically this Saturday when the watershed, Botswana National Olympic Committee elects new leadership in Gaborone. As things stand, there is no clear favourite to succeed long time BNOC president Negroes Kgosietsile, who announced he would not be contesting for the seat this time around.

The five presidential candidates could not be more different, which makes the 2017 elections even more intriguing. Nevertheless, local sports industry observers and sports lovers at large have raised concerns over the unprecedented number of candidates standing for the BNOC executive committee elections. The eclectic candidates vying for the presidential seat include, Ookeditse Malesu. The former military man is the last candidate to enter the race. However, it did not come as a surprise after he lost to Kgosietsile in the last elections.

A no nonsense sports administrator, Malesu brings a lot of experience to his campaign. The ambitious sports administrator has worked for the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), Botswana Swimming Sports Association (BSSA) and recently Malesu had a short spell at the Botswana Football Association. His multi sport code experience will come in handy against the tough competition.

On the other hand is Botsang Tshenyego, another military man who comes with a huge advantage. Tshenyego is an insider having served under Kgosietsile for the past few years. Tshenyego clearly has an advantage to succeed the outgoing president. He is clearly aware of the strings he needs to pull and the inner workings of the BNOC.

Another interesting candidate in the unpredictable race is Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, the current president of the Botswana Netball Association (BONA). Sebego was a rather shock addition to the race. She has also brought along a new angle to the race, as all of her compaigning team is women Sebego is a shrewd administrator and an over achiever who recently brought the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) to local shores. Sebego is buoyed by this great achievement going into the race.

Moreover, the shrewd sports leader who has led BONA for the better part of the past decade, knows how to pick a team that is built around her vision and goals. Former national team boxer and Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) hall of fame France Mabiletsa comes into the race with an impressive resume. In a recent interview with BG Sports, Mabiletsa outlined his plan for the BNOC and it was quite simply aligned to elite athletes with elite sports administrators.

Mabiletsa has been part of one of the most successful amateur boxing stables in the country, being UB/Tsholofelo boxing club for over a decade. Mabiletsa is also no stranger to the BNOC having been assigned as Chef de mission at one of the recent Commonwealth games. Mabiletsa believes that having been an athlete, a coach and a sports administrator gives him leverage over his competitors. Daniel Molaodi enters the race with another impeccable resume. Molaodi made his bones in the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF). For the past decade Molaodi has held a leadership position in the BVF as the sport code went from strength to strength. The BVF ran a successful league until recently, losing their league sponsor Mascom Wireless.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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