With only six days since the transfer window was open for teams to beef up their squads ahead of a grueling battle for money-spinning positions, big name players have already been reported to be on the move, with Extension Gunners looking to have more of the pie.
The tussle for some is the premiership title while others who have already given up on the title race are looking to finish in the top eight to win the Mascom Top 8 ticket for the next season. The lowlier ones are looking to fend off the threat of relegation to continue enjoying the pecks that go with playing in the premier league.
Reports already suggest that Extension Gunners have raided teams with players whose contracts have expired at their teams. The duo of Lovemore Murirwa and Emmanuel Nlu at Orapa United are reported to be just a few kilometres away from signing on the dotted line with the Peleng giants.
Besides, the once deadly Jerome Louis together with his former Township Rollers teammate Kobamelo Kebaikanye are also reported to be on Lobatse club’s radar. The duo were instrumental in Rollers success under Madinda Ndlovu when they won their first championship after spending seasons in the wilderness without silverware.
Gunners could also sign Moatlhodi Ralesotla who was also wanted at Gaborone United, as well as Gofaone Tiro. Gaborone United on the other hand look set to pounce on Chiefs’ most priced trio of Lesego Galenamotlhala, Lemponye Tshireletso and Mpho Kgaswane with all on their last days of their contracts. United are also looking to grab Kabelo Seakanyeng who was released by BDF XI.
The army side also offloaded Gobonyeone Selefa. At press time some teams were yet to resume their training with club officials still cagey with details.Though it might seem like there will be big transfer movements, most of the players will be available end of the season.
Some teams might cling to their prized assets with fears of losing the title championship. The problem with Chiefs is that they do not subscribe to paying Signing-On fees, and the moneyed clubs are taking advantage of their policy that has made it easy for their players to be prized away.
Local boxers ready for regional tourney
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.
The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.
Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.
For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.
He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.
According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.
Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.
Branch does it again
Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.
The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.
At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.
Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.
Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.
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