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Bad blood in GU’s camp

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Rapula Okaile is a man under pressure to perform. A week ago the Gaborone United’s Chairperson and his team fired the entire technical team at the club consisting of technical director and stand-in coach Dragajlo Stanojlovic; goalkeeper coach Thabo Motang and assistant coach, Oris Radipotsane in favour of the European based Dutchman Maart Nooij and a Serbian physical trainer.

The duo was expected to be announced this week Monday in order to start drilling the team ahead of the second round of premier league campaign as well as to prepare for the CAF Confederations Cup which they will be playing next month against an opponent from Zanzibar.

But none of the European coaches has arrived. Now pressure is mounting with some GU supporters starting to question Okaile’s motive for dismissing the technical team without any backup plan. In fact, sources close to the events suggest that the European based duo will first have to surmount the immigration hurdles of acquiring Visas to enter the country since government has stopped issuing temporary permits.

Even if the Visas could be approved for the duo, it may still take some months for them to begin work as they still need to get work permits from labour department. Some supporters are said to be demanding hard-to-come answers from Okaile to show them the new technical team or justify the basis for his decision to fire an entire technical team.

Some feel that Drago, who was allegedly shown the door because results were not forthcoming, was unfairly treated. As for Motang, they say there is no one to fill the void he has left as a goalkeeper coach. And many had thought that Radipotsane would be elevated to the position of head coach or continue as assistant to Nooij, but that also did not happen.

Okaile’s signing of players during this transfer window without the input of the new technical team has again caused division among the supporters who wonder what will happen to the new signees if the new coach does not want them. Others are even questioning his authority to release players from the team without the input of any coach.

Efforts to engage Okaile on these issues hit a snag as he kept on postponing the interview. In the meantime, several names continue to be linked with transfers to Moyagoleele, among them former Green Lovers’ star Moatlhodi Ralesotla who attended the United’s training session on Monday.

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Zapata takes charge

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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

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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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