Organisers of Kabelano Charity Cup are leaving nothing to chance to ensure that they stage a great tournament after an initial false start when they were forced to change dates for the one-day showpiece.
Kabelano Charity Cup was first slated for July 26, but due to a clash with another Botswana Football Association (BFA) event, the tournament has now been moved to August 2.
But there is one small glitch. This day clashes with the second leg of the Zebras AFCON qualifiers match which will be taking place in Guinea Bissau on the same day. This means that teams will be short of their key players who will be called up for national team duty.
Despite all these issues, the four teams that will be participating are certain that this year’s cup will not be any different from the other ones. It will give them an opportunity to field new players, giving the fans a dress rehearsal of the year ahead.
Gaborone United spokesperson, Herbert Letsebe, said the absence of five of their key players Jackie Mothatego, Noah Maposa, Mandla Mgadla, Edwin Olerile and Karabo Phiri wouldn’t stop them from doing their best. He noted that the fact that Kabelano Charity Cup is a charity event is enough to motivate them and their players to give a notable performance despite the absence of others.
“To us this is pre-season training because immediately after the event the league starts, so this is an opportunity for us to look at our new players and I can assure you that they are going to give a sterling performance,” Letsebe commented.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ Clifford Mogomotsi said only two of their players have been called for camp and even though they are crucial players their absence doesn’t mean the team will under-perform. These are Onalethata Tshekiso and Lemponye Tshireletso.
“We are training so hard. This is an opportunity for our supporters to see our new signed players that we will reveal soon, so the national team call off will not affect us anyhow,” Mogomotsi asserted.
Just like Gaborone United, with quite a sizeable amount of players called for camp from their team, Township Rollers manager Motshegetsi Mafa agreed that this is a pre-season game and it is very crucial for them, more so that it is all about charity. The players called for camp from Township Rollers are their captain Sekhana Koko, Oscar Ncenga, their current first choice goalkeeper Mwampule Masule, Obonye Moswate, Otlantshekela Mooketsi and Leutlwetse Tshireletso.
“Even though we would not have our key players we have very interesting new players and fans should wait for a big surprise on the day. We are preparing so well by engaging in many friendly games in and around Gaborone. Something unexpected is coming up during the Kabelano Cup competition I can promise you that. We have a new signed player called Segolame Boy, and the boy is a machine, many people will be fascinated because he is a marvel to watch,” Mafa noted.
Extension Gunners, which had a challenging time last season, promises a massive comeback, noting that only their goalkeeper Wagarre Dikago has been called for camp. The team’s spokesperson Kenny Motseotsile asserted that Kabelano is a gateway for Extension Gunners to grab all the cups that will follow after it. He confirmed that with the inclusion of the new signings Topo Piet from Nico United, Tshepo Maikano from BMC, and Isaac Paeye from Notwane they are sure of and confident of the squad that will be fielded for Kabelano Cup. He noted that they also plan to kick-start the season with Kenny Pilato and youngster Unobatsha Mbaiwa and many other players.
“We are registering top striker Green Harawa from Malawi and we already have Shabby Nsungamale. We want to also take Kenanao Kgetholetsile and Mathews Moruti. We are so ready for Kabelano and even the premier league season. Extension Gunners supporters should come to Kabelano because it will be so much fun, this time we want to give back to our supporters and make them happy again. So we are in it to win it,” Motseotsile said.