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Mandla Mgadla settling at Gunners

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One of the biggest signings during the recent 2015/16 beMOBILE premier league transfer window was Mandla Mgadla who joined Lobatse’s Extension Gunners from Gaborone United.  

After making the move to Peleng, Mgadla has been enjoying game time, which sees him lasting the whole 90 minutes in the game. The weekend fixture in which Gunners lost 0-3 to Kgatleng rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs in Gaborone over the weekend was no exception as the talented player lasted the rest of the game.

“As you can see I have consistently made the first 11 ever since joining Gunners. This is part of what the coach (Daniel Chico Nare) assured me,” Mgadla said after the weekend game.

The speedy winger consistently assisting in the Gunners   attack said he could have arrived at Peleng at the start of the season when Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul was still   headcoach but there were delays before he could leave the star-studded Money Machine.

Besides assuring him of game time Mgadla said there was no pressure. Nare did not demand a lot from him adding that working on match fitness was currently his priority. Following the one-sided defeat to Magosi, Mgadla said Mapantsula of Peleng needed to work on their attack for the remaining games of the season if they are to make it in the top 8.

Meanwhile the winger said he has already played against his beloved GU in the second round. He added that the   match was emotionally charged and confusing at times as there were plenty of familiar faces on the pitch.

“I had been with GU for a long time some time I got confused a lot during the match.” Moreover, Mgadla said he was not sure what Gunners’ mandate was for the remaining games as he had just joined the team.

Meanwhile, Gunners headcoach said acquiring Mgadla was necessary for the team, as they needed his experience. “We are playing with a lot of players we acquired from the first division. Mgadla is a good boy and his experience will be important to help younger players,” he said.

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Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19

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Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.

Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.

“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.

Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.

“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.

Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year  for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having  already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.

“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”

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BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet

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Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.

Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe.  No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.

Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.

However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry  of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”

Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.

However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.

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