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Zim giants lampoon TAFIC

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The Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwean premier league giants Highlanders, this week ridiculed local rivals TAFIC fornot taking their brand seriously. Speaking during a press event for the weekend game between the two teams, Nhlanhla Dube poked fun at TAFIC management for failing to don their team replicas at a press conference in Francistown.

The two teams used the occasion to announce a Mascom sponsorship deal for the weekend game between the two giants at Francistown Sports complex. The Saturday game will be part of the 120 years celebration for the northern city. Doning the Highlanders black and white team jersey, the humorous Dube said that the reason Highlanders is operating without any sponsors is for the simple reasons that they take their brand seriously when the time to do that beckons.

All the three Highlanders representatives were wearing their team replicas while only Tafic Chairman had his team jersey. This gave Dube even more ammunition to homorously lecture Matjimenyenga on branding and professionalism. Dube informed those who cared to listen that he is not wearing his team’s replica shirt not that he doesn’t have suits or any other fancy clothes.

“When it comes to branding, my team takes it seriously no wonder I am donning my black and white jersey. I also have the penchant for fancy suits but I cannot just wear my clothes as I stand before you representing my team. At Highlanders we don’t expect donations from companies but instead we are very aware that whatever cash that we get from various companies is meant for the team to expose such a company to our multitudes of fans.

For his part, Highlanders chairman Modern Ngwenya informed those at the press conference that it should be noted that his team has a history of working with local teams.Ngwenya mentioned some of the Highlanders former players who have contributed to the current improved state of football in Botswana including Rahman Gumbo who has coached a number of local clubs including Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs to mention but only a few. Moreover, he applauded Madinda Ndlovu currently with Orapa United as one of his former team players who continue to make them proud in the country.

“I should warn Tafic that we are going to humiliate them during our encounter on Saturday so that they can learn a lesson. They should in future desist from inviting a very important person than them when they have a party as the important figure will always grab bragging rights under their nose, ”Ngwenya said jokingly.

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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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