There will be a lot of scores to settle during the first leg of the Mascom Top 8 semi-finals this weekend in Francistown.
Besides the P1, 200,000 first prize carrot being dangled by the tournament sponsor, there will be pride, bragging rights and self-validation at stake. By far, the most interesting fixture will be between big spending mortal rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers at the Francistown sports complex.
Nevertheless, it will be marauding Centre Chiefs that will be coming into the semi-finals with a monkey riding on their backs. The Mascom Top silverware has embarrassingly eluded the glamorous Magosi since its inception in the 2011/12 season. In some cases Magosi have been humiliated in the Top 8 failing to make it through to the semi-finals.
However, Magosi now have a clean slate this season and Popa will be a big target in front of the Kgatleng giants. However, the game is evenly matched as both teams are currently on sizzling form in the beMOBILE premier league and picking a winner now will surely be a tricky affair.
This Friday, Magosi will be buoyed by their free scoring juggernaut Lemponye ‘FC’ Tshireletso who has brought nothing else but sheer terror against the opposition this season. Currently, the evergreen striker is topping the top goal scorer standings. He will surely be a marked man by Rollers. Beside Tshireletso, Rollers will have to contend with Ayanda Molefe and Tendai Nyumasi in defence.
Magosi headcoach Mike ‘Dubula’ Sithole is expected to run with the ball and attack early on. On the flip side, Rollers will be bringing arguably the best pound for pound squad in the league.
English coach Mark Harrison commands a battalion of experience and talent from robust winger Joel Mogorosi to nimble goal scoring machine Sekhana ‘Nandos’ Koko. Harrison is expected to be strong in almost all departments having recently acquired the services of Ofentse ‘Size 10’ Nato and Terence ‘Terror’ Mandaza.
Given the chances on Friday, Rollers will score crucial goals. Mapalastina who have only one Top 8 title to their name have made it to the final two more times losing to both Gaborone United and army side BDF XI.
“This is going to be a big game with two big teams that are on form,” said Harrison this week. Harrison who beat Gilport Lions 3-0 in a league fixture, this week said there will be a lot of expectation for the game this weekend. “We play football to get involved in such matches. Both teams want to play in the Top 8 final.”
Rollers captain Maano Ditshupo said Popa is ready for Magosi on Friday. “Preparations have already began and we want the cup. We are confident that our plan for the game will give us results.” In their last encounter, Rollers edged Magosi 3-0. Meanwhile, another mouth-watering encounter will see Orapa United taking on 2013/14 Top 8 champions BDF XI at the Itekeng stadium in Orapa on Saturday.
Headcoach Madinda Ndlovu’s Ostriches have been known to be tough customers especially at their home ground at Itekeng. Ndlovu has plenty of experience in winning cups and championships.
With a squad consisting of players like Thabang Sesinyi, Patrick Motsepe, Patrick Lenyeletse and Ronald Chikomo any team should be wary of Orapa. Meanwhile BDF XI boasts an arsenal of their own including Mwampule Masule, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Phenyo Mongala, Ofentse Mmipi and Patrick Kaunda.
Heelang, hands off journalists!
In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.
There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.
That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.
Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.
There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.
Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?
Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.
Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy
Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.
This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.
Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.
The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.
“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.
The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.
Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.
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