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Matebele target Popa runaway train



The undefeated beMOBILE premiership 2015/16 championship frontrunners – Township Rollers – will be in a tricky affair this Saturday when they face BDF XI at the Molepolole Sports Complex.

‘Matebele a Mantsho,’ as BDF are popularly known will relish the chance of being the first team to beat the undefeated Rollers in a league fixture when the two meet this weekend. In past seasons Popa Popa have been known to start well early in the season only to run out of steam by the second round. However, the MmaMasire glamour boys seem to be an unstoppable force this season.

Only Police XI have been able to beat Rollers 1-0 during the Mascom Top 8 second fixture at the Molepolole sports complex. After the shock defeat, Rollers headcoach Mark Harrison complained that his charges had lost focus following a 4-2 first leg win against the   Jungle Kings. Harrison added that Rollers’ first and only defeat of the season was because his charges had become complacent due to previous success.

Meanwhile, Rollers travelled to Itekeng stadium over the weekend in what was deemed to be a tough game against Orapa United. Yet again Popa came out of Itekeng stadium unscathed after a goalless draw. This begs the question on whether anybody can beat Popa this season.

Nonetheless, BDF XI will come into the match as underdogs, but they may be one of the only three teams that could realistically pull an upset on the runaway Popa steam train. Currently Popa are elevated in the rarefied atmosphere with an impressive 37 points while BDF are   fourth with 29 points and only four defeats.

However, Popa still run like a well-oiled machine despite being in the second round of the season. Harrison seems to have found a winning formula that has consistently worked against tough opposition. The BDF defence will have a lot to deal with, considering Rollers attack that features Carl Finnigan, Jerome Louis, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Sekhana Koko, Joel Mogorosi and Maano Ditshupo. On the flipside Matebele will have to be spot on defensively and take scoring chances earlier.

This will allow them to hold Mapalastina later on. BDF headcoach Beston Chambesi will rely heavily on reliable star strikers Patrick Kaunda and Keeagile Kobe. Still on attack BDF will need the services of Ofentse Mmipi and Mosha Gaolaolwe, while goal poacher Mwampule Masule will come against his former team.

Meanwhile, Frida’s beMOBILE fixture will feature FC Satmos vs. Orapa United (Selibi Phikwe), BR Highlander vs. Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Serowe). On Saturday Gaborone United will take on Gilport Lions (National Stadium), Nico United vs. Green Lovers (Selibi Phikwe), Extension Gunners vs. Sankoyo Bush Bucks (Lobatse), Miscelleneous vs. Motlakase Power Dynamos. The only fixture on Sunday will be Galaxy FC vs Police IX.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko



ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff



BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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