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Toronto ready for BPL campaign

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One of the most popular football fan in the country Tlhabano ‘Madrid’ Gala is adamant that his beloved Notwane FC are going to competitive when they arrive in the BTC Premiership next season.

Toronto gained automatic promotion to the Premier league after beating Mochudi Rovers 3-0 in a Debswana First Division (DFS) game held in Mochudi this past weekend. Both charismatic and not afraid to speak his mind, Madrid said Toronto will not be mere participants in the Premier League. “Everyone is expected to do their job, from players to supporters and management. I urge Notwane supporters to come in numbers. Motivation is the key to everything,” he said. The elated fan who oozes both passion and undying love for the Gaborone club said supporters will ensure that they resemble hosts every game they play in the Premier’s League.

By this, I mean that supporters will be coming in huge numbers to back the team in every game. Notwane relegated to the dusty grounds of the DFD league after being choked out of the Premier League in unspectacular fashion over three years ago. Toronto’s well documented fall from the Premier League was characterised by supporter apathy and a drastic decline in performance. It was during their uninspired run in the Premier league when Toronto were duped by bogus investor Gift Mogami who virtually orchestrated their ultimate fall to the lower leagues. However, Notwane took their DFD league by storm and some of their supporters started crawling out of the woodwork as the team embarked in a rebuilding process away from the pressures of the Premier League.

The arrival of former Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Tebogo Sebego saw the Gaborone outfit uniting like never before and ultimately dominated the DFD south league. Staunch supporter Madrid, who is named after Spanish giants Real Madrid was quick to acknowledge Sebego’s contribution to both the team’s success and promotion to the Premier League. Macat, as Notwane are affectionately known launched a stellar campaign that saw them going on an undefeated streak in the first round of the league. For his part, Notwane headcoach Kakale Mabechu said their job has finally being completed. Mabechu said they achieved their goal after beating their title rivals Prison XI. “The campaign was difficult, teams were tough and knew what they wanted. We need to go and beef up the squad in preparation for the premier league.

We aim to keep 98 percent of our players as most of they are still on the young side,” he said. In a post-match interview veteran defender Mpoeleng “Stopper” Mpoeleng said Notwane is the club that introduced him to the premier league. My heart has always been with Notwane even though I have played for other teams. Mpoeleng said he has even kept old team regalia that was used by the team during their earlier campaign. The player said he has no intention of retired even at the advanced age of 38. “I will stop playing around age 42 if when my legs will not be able to carry me.” Mpoeleng attribute his longevity to healthy life style.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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