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Rollers extinguish Magosi’s firepower

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Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs   seem to  be   in  trouble  especially  in  the  attack  department  following  the  departure   of  influential  striker Keaketswe ‘Mara’ Moloi.

The  Mascom Top 8 first  leg  semi  finals held in Francistown over the weekend exposed  Magosi’s depleted arsenal with the team now heavily  reliant  on the  likes  of  Lemponye FC  Tshireletso,  Tendai Nyumasi  and  the  experienced  Onalethata  Tshekiso.

However,  the  lack  of  depth   in attack  at  Magosi  has  exposed  them  to  top  teir  rivals  Township Rollers. During the semi-final encounter, the evergreen Tshireletso came short of finding the back of the net while the groggy and misfiring Tshekiso continued with his poor form this season.

Nevertheless, Magosi who seem to be shy when it comes to spending on experienced players, are able to handle lesser competition easily. Against Rollers at the Francistown Sports Complex Magosi were moving at a pedestrian’s pace and   eventually became onlookers to the brilliance of Popa popa who are overloaded with talent.

Magosi’s frustration after the   Saturday game was telling as the players and the technical team were seething on their way back to the dressing rooms.
“I cannot talk to you now. Maybe later on, I am not happy,” said Magosi Captain Pontsho Moloi.

Even worse Magosi  will  have  to  come  back  from a  difficult 3-1 loss due to  damaging  away  goals. During the second leg, Maaparankwe  will have to score early and make sure they do not concede  any goals which is highly unlikely against a difficult  opponent like Rollers.

On the contrary, the glamorous MmaMasire Blues went on a spending spree this season. Some of the players acquired by  the team include Ofentse Nato,  former  beMOBILE  premier league  top  goal  scorer  Terence  Mandaza, Galabgwe  Moyana  and  Joel  Mogorosi. With  an  impressive  3-1  score line, Rollers  headcoach  Mark Harrison  knows  that  he  has  one  foot  in  the Top 8    final  where  he   will face  either  Orapa  United  or  BDF XI.

The   full  might  of Rollers  will  be  shown  in  the  second leg  scheduled  for  Francistown  next  month. The  venue  that  has  become  popular  with  football  nationwide  will  be  expecting  to  see Rollers  finishing  off   their  rival  on  their  way  to  the  finals.

For Harrison the  second leg semi   will  not be  a daunting affair  unless Magosi  pull  an epic  upset. Most  of Harrison’s  roster consisting of the likes of Nato, Mandaza, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Galabgwe  Moyana, Sekhana  Koko, Kobamelo Kebaikanye and  Maano Ditshupo – has players good  enough  to  make  it  into  the  starting line  up.

Meanwhile, Chiefs  have  lodged  a protest  with  the   Player  status  committee  challeging  the  legality  of  Ofentse  Nato’s  presence  during  the Top  8 semi  finals.

According, to Magosi’s  spokesperson Clifford  Mogomotsi , Nato  who  joined  Rollers  in  the second  round  of  the  2015/16 beMOBILE  premier  league  season  was not  properly  register  according to  the  play  rules  and  regulations

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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