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GU SEE RED, BLUES ROLL ON

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It never rains but pours at Gaborone United. Actually, the past seven days have not borne any good news at the club.

Friday was particularly not a great day for anyone to be the club’s supporter as both Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs dented their remaining pride in a matter of hours.

No sooner had The Reds’ faithful been left with an egg on the face regarding Ofentse Nato’s change of heart than they were slapped 2-0 by Chiefs some hours later.

With the club’s management playing hide and seek with the media on emerging issues at the club, it has not been established why Nato, their loyal servant of many years, reneged on signing for the club at the last minute after he had been reported to be on the verge of signing.

Nato on Friday signed for Rollers in what was seen as a shock move, and emerging news is that United were still fighting internally over whether to sign him or not when Rollers came up with a concrete offer. Nato reportedly opted for a more serious Rollers as the argument for and against signing him at United continued.

One group felt that while Nato was their loyal servant, there was no justification to sign him while the club no longer had anything to fight for this season. The party that was opposing the signing of Nato reasoned that already they were out of league contention and the Mascom Top 8. Nato’s Indian side Atletico de Kolkata has gone for recess until September this year, but have agreed to have the player getting some game time while in Botswana.

Ahead of his signing for Rollers, his agent had reportedly been toying with the plan to take the player to France. Besides the procrastination at United, sources say Rollers dangled a mouthwatering carrot before the former Bidvest Wits star, an offer he found difficult to resist.  

Now it means that in a space of two weeks, Rollers have signed two big names – Nato and their former Zimbabwean prolific forward Terrence Mandaza. The duo is expected to feature in Rollers’ Mascom Top 8 Semi-Finals in Francistown against Chiefs.

Township Rollers president Dick Gabanakgosi confirmed to Sun Sports that indeed his club was working around the clock to finalise paper work for the duo. “We are expecting to start work on Mandaza’s work permit this Wednesday and by Friday we will be in a good position to know when he will feature.

As for Nato, we are finalising his paper work too”, Gabanakgosi said.Meanwhile, United are facing the wrath of CAF after pulling out of the CAF Confederation’s Cup at the eleventh hour.

United said they would need about P500 000 for their planned Zanzibar trip alone but did not have enough money to make the trip possible. They were supposed to play Tanzania’s Jeshi La Kujenga Ucumi FC.

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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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