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BFA resuscitates Women’s football

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The women football league rose from the proverbial ashes this past weekend in Tswapong and Kweneng regions while Gaborone and other regions are expected to begin this week. The women league has been in comatose for months. The resuscitation of the Women’s league gives hope to local players who were left scratching their heads after the Botswana Football Association canned their women structures.

Speaking to Sun Sports this week, women national team coach Gaolethoo Nkutlwisang said it was high time they began playing saying the absence of the league killed the women game altogether locally.However, her biggest worry is that the league is still operating without a sponsor, she said the situation is most likely to weigh heavily on the teams.

“We need to go on a serious hunt for a sponsor because that was one of the reasons that led to the league being suspended,” she said.She called on Botswana Football Association (BFA) to up their game arguing that if the BFA leadership manages to find sponsors for the men’s league, then it should not so hard to find sponsorship for the ladies side.Nevertheless Nkutlwisang said there is need to reinforce measures as coaches. “We have to produce quality players who will convince sponsors that there is potential in our players, this will in the long run benefit the national team too,” she said.

Nkutlwisang also noted that they look forward to playing a beautiful game of football early next because since they returned from COSAFA Championships, they have been doing nothing. On the other hand, the under 20 women team coach Jacqueline Gaobinelwe said the league will assist in keeping their athletes in action, noting that it will make players ready for any national duty call up. Gaobinelwe was recently disappointed when BFA decided to withdraw the U-20 Women’s football team from the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women World Cup Qualifiers.

“It is my hope that they have sorted out all the issues that have been plaguing the league because they took a significant amount of time revamping. Meanwhile BFA Chief Executive Officer Mfolwe Mfolwe said they have not secured a sponsor yet, however it is one of the issues on the table. Mfolwe explained that they have resorted to playing regional football in the first year to reduce costs because they are currently financial constrained. “We are currently playing regional football, teams will be promoted to the National first division and ultimately the super /elite league.” However, the BFA CEO noted that everything will be determined by the number of teams playing, arguing that women have few teams as compared to men.

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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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