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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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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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