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United show Oris and Drago the door, await a Dutchman



Coach Dragojlo Stanojlovic still cannot believe what befell him over the past festive break. The ink had hardly dried on his two-year contract with Gaborone United, but the club ruthlessly fired him from his positions as Technical Director and stand-in coach.

His fate was actually sealed a few days before New Year’s Day but the killer blow on him was delivered this week. The nomadic Serbian,  formerly with Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs, was reportedly brought into the Reds’ fold by United’s director and financier Nicolas Zakhem a season ago to serve as Technical Director while buying  time as the club was preparing  to get rid of the then club mentor  Rahman Gumbo who was later fired. 

Later the Serbian assumed the reigns under unclear circumstances with club officials failing to come out in the open on who between him and their then new recruit  Oris Boyo Radipotsane was the coach. Boyo  had joined United  after being fired by premiership rookies  Galaxy FC for poor results. At one point many thought that Drago was just paving way for Boyo to take over the reins for the next season, but the latter was fired as well.

Many United supporters have taken to social media to criticize United’s management  for firing Drago, saying the man could have been retained to assist as part of the technical team. Despite one heavy 4-0 loss against an unprepared and disjointed Nico United, he was still seen as what the doctor had ordered for the struggling Money Machine, based on his hard work and passion for the game.

United have also been bundled out of the prestigious Mascom Top 8 cup they were defending after winning it last season. Since winning the inaugural beMobile Premier League championship, United have been an inconsistent side characterised by infighting, further renowned for chopping and changing coaches in a short space of time.

Many times the excuse is hinged upon the failure of coaches to win titles whereas the overriding factor is often the internal wrangling that always works against the club’s success on the field.

In their usual demeanor, the United management was over the weekend denying the sacking of their coaches, saying there was no substance in what he called ‘rumours.’ This past weekend, Chairman Rapula Okaila dismissed the sacking of their coaches as just talk without substance, but that was hours before they would officially sack the Serbian. Yet the club is due to  kick start their pan African campaign in the CAF Confederations Cup.

However, the same weekend, fresh reports were suggesting that United could be taken over by Dutchman Mart Nooij. The 61-year old has vast experience working with clubs and national teams on the African continent having first come to Africa in 2003 as Burkina Faso national under 23 team coach and led them to FIFA World Youth Championship.

Still in Africa four years later, he assumed the reins in Mozambique as national team coach where in his five year-stint he qualified them to the 2010 AFCON finals in Angola only for him to resign after failing to qualify the Mambas to the 2012 finals. 

Sources close to the events have hinted to Sun Sports that Nooij will come along with an unnamed Serbian physical trainer who is currently based in Zambia. United have since parted ways with Radipotsane as well and a surprised Drago says he will stay on in the country with the hope of finding another team.

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Zapata takes charge



TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile



PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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