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Sithole’s future uncertain at Chiefs

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Michael Sithole’s future at Mochudi Center Chiefs still hangs in the balance with club officials still reported to be huffing and puffing to have a final word.

News reaching Sun Sports paints a gloomy picture on his future with indications that already the then highly-sought after Zambian gaffer has already clashed with his number two Keitumtse Pio Paul. Paul recently joined the defending champions as an  assistant coach after the Kgatleng side had gone for almost two seasons without an assistant coach. 

Since his arrival, Chiefs have shown signs of rejuvenation and already they are neck to neck with other title contenders. Sithole’s two year contract is coming to an end at the end of next month. He joined the Mochudi side from Extension Gunners at the time he was tasked with winning the league title, which he then delivered.

Although he was also mandated with winning the Mascom Top 8, his side was knocked at the tournament’s entry level although this time around they have moved in to the semi finals. On his final year of his contract, Sithole is also still with the chasing pack of the league championship.  Late last year, reports had linked Sithole with Gaborone United, the club with which he first won silverware in Botswana – the inaugural beMOBILE Primer League Championship.

This was after he had jumped ship with his current employers who brought him from Zambia. However, sources have hinted that Chiefs’ head honchos are divided on his sacking, with some feeling that he be given a few months’  extension until  end of the season with a fear that could they let him go a change of philosophy might affect the team with the eventuality of losing out on the league title and the Top 8 title.

Others in the team want him gone, arguing that Paul can handle the club for the remaining bit of the campaign. “There is nothing concrete to talk about relating to that matter,” the club’s spokesperson told Sun Sports. “We are resuming training on Tuesday and that’s when we will discuss various things,” Clifford Mogomotsi told Sun Sports.

Though Sithole’s future is unclear with Chiefs, reports from Gaborone United suggest that club officials have backtracked their initial thought of hiring him, and they have instead chosen to go with Dutch-born Mart  Nooij who is likely to arrive in the country at the start of next week. This week will thus prove critical for Sithole with the club likely to announce whether they  let him go or extend his stay.

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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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