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Magosi turn to old guard

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The influential triumvirate of coach Innocent Morapedi, goalkeeper Noah Maposa and striker Jarome Ramatlhakwane have reportedly gone full circle and reunited with their former club Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

Morapedi, who is formerly the Chiefs assistant coach helped to steer Magosi to some of their most historic premier league triumphs. He was part of the prolific technical team headed by former Magosi headcoach Madinda Ndlovu, a partnership that made Chiefs one of the most feared teams in the domestic league. Back then the mighty Magosi won back-to-back beMOBILE premiership championships.

Following Ndlovu’s departure to Township Rollers, Chiefs hired a new technical team led by little known Dragojlo Stanojlovic from Serbia. This move did not favour the tactical Morapedi who had to make way for China Matlhaku to work as Dragojlo second in command. Morapedi later had a stint at the now relegated Notwane before going under the football radar.

However, it did not come as a surprise to many football supporters when Morapedi resurfaced in Kgatleng. Meanwhile, Ramatlhakwane, the former Under 23 and National team top goal poacher who at some point led the top goal scorer standings during the AFCON 2012 qualifiers, has also been linked to his former team. Ramatlhakwane stamped his authority in regional football when he again clinched the top goal scorer at the regional tournament COSAFA Castle Cup held in Zambia in 2013.

However Ramatlhakwane still has a five-year running contract with Democratic Republic of Congo outfit, Don Bosco. The once feared striker joins Chiefs from championship rivals Township Rollers on loan. Initially, Ramatlhakwane chose Rollers over his former club after it was believed that Rollers dangled an irresistible financial carrot before his nose. Nevertheless, his latest move is believed will breathe life into Chiefs striking force which heavily relied on Onalethata Tshekiso and Lemponye Tshireletso, who have since moved on.

Meanwhile the nomadic safe hands Noah Maposa who has enjoyed playing for almost all the popular clubs in the league including Township Rollers and Gaborone United is expected to take over from goal minder Raphael Nthwane who has joined the likes of Pontsho Moloi and Onalethata Tshekiso at the retirement village.

Maposa, an experienced shot stopper has seen limited game time in Popa colours, as he had to face stiff competition from the Zebras’ first choice goal minder Kabelo Dambe.Worst still, Maposa could have faced even fiercer competition from Mwampule Masule who was on loan at BDF XI. Masule showed improvement at BDF, triggering his dramatic comeback to the national team colours. Masule lately was instrumental in Zebras’ historic feat in the regional COSAFA tournament where they reached the finals for the first time after coming in for injured Dambe.

In an interview this week, Chiefs spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed to Sun Sports that indeed they will be signing the duo Maposa and Ramatlhakwane but didn’t disclose the length of their contracts, adding that Morapedi will be an interim headcoach while they search for a suitable candidate. Chiefs were left without a coach after the departure of Michael Sithole who has since joined Jwaneng Galaxy FC.

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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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