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Rolers scare Lovers

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Green Lovers’ headcoach Othusitse Kootselwe is not a man to minces his words. Unlike other rookie teams that never survive the first season in the premier league, Kootselwe is adamant that Lovers will remain in the beMOBILE Premiership league for years to come.

The coach said this on the backdrop of receiving a one-sided thorough hiding from league front runners Township Rollers over the weekend. After the heavy 6-1 loss at the hands of Rollers, Lovers will face another stiff test when they take on the might of BDF XI in their last game of the this season’s first round of the league.

Despite being steam rolled by Popa Popa, Kootselwe said he was generally pleased with his team’s performance for their first season in the premier league. Lovers are currently at position 12 out of 16 teams, with a total of 15 points.

The Serowe outfit managed to secure five victories and lose nine games in the first round. “There is nothing much I will change about the team. We are hammering some of these teams, we will make it through, many people did not think we will be here. We are not going to relegate,” Kootselwe said after the heavy loss to Rollers.

It was a case of hero-worshipping on the day, with most of the Lovers’ players meeting their favourite team for the first time. Kootselwe revealed: “My players were trembling with fear throughout the game, especially as most of them grew up supporting the multiple champions.

They only came on song in the second half.” He added that he was not going to make any drastic changes to his squad during the January transfer window.
The coach did not hold back on recent issues surrounding his star player and league run away success Moatlhodi Ralesotla over after talk that the 24-year-old striker and current top goal scorer allegedly signed with Gaborone United.

“There is a lot of talk around him, that’s why he did not perform well against Rollers. My opinion is that the player should stay with us for the rest of the season because we know him better. If he is lured with money and joins another team in the second round, he will have to make adjustments at the new team,” he said.

However, Kootselwe conceded that Lovers did not have the financial muscle to keep the free scoring-player, adding that they could not stop him if he wanted to go somewhere else.

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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