With the 2015/2016 beMOBILE premier league commencing at the weekend, soccer pundits are looking ahead for an interesting and competitive season. The off-season has been a very busy one as clubs beefed up their squads. According to soccer analysts all teams are looking to better their positions from last season’s. Btv soccer analyst Gimmy George said it looks like the coming season which starts on Friday is going to be an eye catching one.
George said the league has not lost any good players from last season but rather saw the arrival of more quality players such as the likes of Mogogi Gabonamong and Carl Finnigan at Township Rollers. “With such players, the league promises fireworks. I therefore expect a very competitive season than the previous one,” explained George. George pointed out that it was too early to predict who will win the league. He said looking at the way Rollers have been doing their signings it is a clear sign that they embarking on a mission to reclaim their glorious days.
With the backing of businessman Jagdish Shah Rollers have been able to muscle their way to signing quality players like Gabonamong, Finnigan, Galagwe Moyana as well as experienced coach Mark Harrison. “Despite their signings we are yet to see which team will be able to successfully challenge for the championships as all the other teams are also working on assembling strong teams for this purpose,” said George.
The other interesting part to look out for this coming season will be coaching departments. The 2015/2016 season has seen a number of teams hiring new tacticians. Harrison’s arrival at Rollers is one of the cases that will be looked at with a keen eye to see how he settles in at the club.
George said that Harrison’s – an Englishman who has coached in the South African Premier league - arrival in Botswana will definitely add a spark to the local football. “Rollers have hired him to come and win silverware for them and he is an experienced coach who is capable of doing that,” he added. Jwaneng Galaxy, on the other hand, has brought back to the premier league Oris Radipotsane to continue guiding them in top flight football.
Radipotsane’s return to premier league adds quality to the technical knowhow looking at his track record. Galaxy tactician is also the Zebras assistant coach. He brings with his a vast experience as the coach and will be fighting to look for a permanent position for his club in the league. Other highly regarded coaches include Orapa United’s Madinda Ndlovu; Mochudi Centre Chiefs mentor Rahman Gumbo of Gaborone United, Police IX’s Maxwell Moyo and Pio Paul of Extension Gunners.
Botswana Premier League CEO Bennett Mamelodi has also predicted a very exciting 2015/2016 season. Mamelodi believes that with the arrival of the three new teams should bring excitement and competition that has never been experienced in local football. The newly promoted teams are the diamond town based Jwaneng Galaxy; Serowe outfits Miscellaneous and Green Lovers. Because of the expected stiff competition George said he feels it is going to be tough for the newcomers to adapt to the elite league especially Green Lovers since they have never played at this stage before.
To make matter worse, top teams have shown intentions to conquer everything that is put before them. BDF XI have come in the open and announced that their intention is to at least finished 3rd in the league and reclaim their lost Mascom Top 8 Cup. However, the army side will obviously be looking to finish in a better position in the league.
Advice to Clubs
On numerous occasions Mamelodi has called on teams to follow a professional setup in their affairs to help grow the league. He urged the teams desist from being over-reliant on grants from BPL but to come up with avenues of making their own money. “All parties need to pull up their socks and begin to work towards improving the way things are currently done if we want to see improvements in our football,” said Mamelodi.