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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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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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