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TAFIC, Galaxy in must win encounter

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BTC premiership contenders Jwaneng Galaxy are expected to meet the Francistown based side of TAFIC Sporting Club today (Wednesday) at Jwaneng Stadium in BTC Premiership fixture. Galaxy are expected to be aggressive and push for maximum points during the game. A crucial win against TAFIC will see Galaxy swiftly move up the log and stand on par with rivals Township Rollers with 49 points each. Rollers dropped points after failing to contain the unpredictable Orapa United this past Monday at Itekeng Stadium. Popa succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Galaxy will be hoping to advantage and catch up with the title favourites.

The 2016/2017 Mascom Top 8 Champions will be looking for the last piece of silverware after they failed to defend their title this season. Galaxy further suffered crushing loss during their debut at the CAF championships league having been tossed out in the preliminary stage. If there is any hope for Galaxy this season, it avoiding the loss of points and focusing on the last seven games. Galaxy’s Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic will be forced to play his cards close to the chest. Strategic will be key when they face TAFIC. Matjimenyenga are a on survival mode and they are not to be taken lightly; actually, it was the same team that humbled the Galaxy with a 1-0 win during the first leg of the 2017/18 Season.

Krmpotic who is still finding his ground at Galaxy will be relying on the experienced legs of Tebogo Sembowa, Patrick Kaunda and Ayanda Molefhe among others. Meanwhile with only a few weeks left before the end of the season, TAFIC has enough problems as it is. The team is currently battling to escape the relegation axe. Matjimenyenga are currently limping at position 13 in the log standings. Having only been promoted to the elite league last season, the Francistown outfit cannot afford another spell in the National First Division. The promotion to the elite league had brought much needed excitement to the football supporters in the lucrative Francistown area.

Despite the challenges that have been plaguing TAFIC in and out of the pitch, the team has managed a mixed run thus far. From their last five played fixtures, TAFIC registered only one loss to BDF XI, drew two and won two. In the absence of TAFIC headcoach Coach Rapelang Razor Tsatsilebe who is still serving suspension, Assistant Coach Kentse Motlhale and Wrist Mmusi will be in charge. The match is expected to mark the return of right back Elijah Motseoatile who has been absent serving his suspension for his two consecutive yellow cards. Kick off time is 1700hrs.

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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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