It’s that time of the year again when local football supporters embark on an annual pilgrimage to the Francistown Sports Complex where two deserving teams will take centre stage during the Mascom Top 8 Final. Both Gaborone United (GU)and Jwaneng Galaxy return to the finals, the former looking to win an astounding third title while Galaxy will be in search of their second title in three years.
Despite GU or the Money Machine as it is known sitting on position 7th on the BTC Premiership Table, they are tipped as the favourites to win this prestigious trophy. With a wealth of experience in the team and their big match temperament, GU can go all the way and write the history books by being the first club to win three Mascom Top 8 titles.
Gaborone United gaffer Philemon Makhwengwe will have to be up to his best, saturated with smart tactics and soothing combinations of play, with industrious players like Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Dirang Moloi, Gaopatwe Seosenyeng, Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Goitseone Phoko guarding the sticks. Makhwengwe is likely to pack his rich midfield with the likes of Rentse Keakabetse, captain Alphonse Modisaotsile, Obonywe Maome and Gaopatwe Seosenyeng to kill the mobility of Jwaneng Galaxy and limit spaces behind the defense.
Dirang Moloi and Thatayone Kgamayane are expected to play behind Jerome Ramatlhakwane as supporting strikers as Makhwengwe will also enjoy adding for power in his attack, the two players are expected to put through Ramatlhakwana, whose goal scoring prowess is second to none. On the other hand, Jwaneng Galaxy is a club enjoying a very good run of form, the Jwaneng based outfits are currently challenging for BTC Premiership honors and the Mascom Top 8 title; as things stand they will not be a walk in the park.
Miguel Da Costa will carry his troops to battle on Saturday night and will definitely bring his finest mind to the game, his unsurpassed tactics will also boil down in the technical area, the coach has proven to be an all-out attacker with a cautious mindset so expectation are he will have Lebogang Ditsele guarding and working closely to the four men defense while the pondering captain Olebogeng Malebye is unleashed for attacking and defending duties.
Galaxy will depend on Gilbert Baruti and Thero Setsile to unlock the GU defensive line with skill and pace on the flanks, should the two not be up to task Gift Moyo can always come on to rescue the day. Patrick Kaunda will have to be on his toes holding the ball for the oncoming attackers and fending off defenders every moment.
Tebogo Sembowa remains to be a lucky charm in the tournament having played four finals and winning them all, Galaxy will count him as their lucky charm as the player looks to add his fifth Mascom Top 8 medal this weekend. One player that Galaxy will pin their hopes on is the lanky short stopper, Ezikiel Morake who has enjoyed his game in this tournament.
Morake is capable of winning the game for his side, with his admirable reflexes and his ability to make key long ball passes to his strikers. Morake can also be vital when his defense is caught napping, the goal minder is a one on one specialist who knows how to spread his body when facing a striker.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”