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Sua Flamingos flunk premiership opportunity

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Sua Flamingos Football club who finished third in the Debswana Northern First Division league behind Ecco City Greens have themselves to blame for failing to sail through to the beMobile Premiership for next season.

A former first team player (names withheld) could not hide his disappointment at the team’s current position. The player said that when the first round resumed under the tutelage of Zimbabwean gaffer Elias Chinyemba, the team made a vow to gain automatic promotion to the top league of the country.

“As players we had a bond which was fuelled by the need to win all our games, but just before the end of the first round, the team management informed us that they wanted to beef up the team with premier league material,” the player said. He revealed that when they went to collect their cheques for December 2015 during the holiday break, they were surprised to find letters releasing nine of them from the team only to learn later that the coach was also given the boot.

“The decision to dismantle a team with a winning combination together with its head coach at the end of the first round was unwise on the part of management,” the player explained. When reached for a comment, the Chairperson of the club Bashi Albion Joseph explained that when the team gained promotion from the Division One to the Debswana First Division North, they set themselves a goal of grabbing 24 points in each round.

“We never said that we wanted to enter the premiership league straight away as we were aware of the fact that we are newcomers in the league. People normally look at the log and get excited and think that the team will make it only for them to be disappointed. We understand that we have fans all over and they have to know that the players that we released were not performing and as a team building for the future, we needed to beef up our squad to compete with the best.

As for our aim of collecting 24 points in the first round we made it but failed in the second round as we collected 16 points and lost nine. One of our players we released due to school commitment is Lapologang Motlogi who is a frequent goal scorer at Motlakase Power Dynamos,” he said.

Joseph added that their former coach Chinyemba was not fired but that, “We experienced problems with his papers as his work permit was for a second division team called Mega.Com.

“We asked the team to lend us the coach since at that time we were in desperate need of one. The team owner agreed as he said that he was owing Chinyemba some money and the new arrangement would relieve him of pressure. When the owner realised that we were doing well he then started to blackmail us  saying we should give him cash until the coach was arrested by the police and some immigration officials who informed us that it was wrong for us to have used a coach we did not have any work permit for.

However, we were warned. So we never fired the coach as there are lots of allegations making rounds to blame us of failure to gain promotion to the top league of the country,” he clarified.

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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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