Mascom Top 8 champions, Orapa United, alias The Ostriches, will once again be the talk of town on Thursday when they are expected to scoop the highest number of awards after dominating the nominations. Such success does not come as a surprise as the Orapa diamond mining town team played extraordinarily to win the championship of the lucrative competition, and end runner's up in the 2015/2016 domestic league. Orapa United players appear in all nomination categories released by Botswana Premier League. Out of the five awards The Ostriches are already sure of two awards. The team has already been declared champions of the tournament and Ronald Chikomo is sure of Top Goal Scorer award, which he shares with Maano Ditshupo. Chikomo is also nominated together with his teammate Olekantse Mambo for the Player of the Season award. The two will be fighting for the award with Township Rollers captain Maano Ditshupo. It remains to be seen who will walk away with the P50 000 prize money on the day. Looking at the three players’ performance they all made a good contribution for their teams during the tournament.
Ditshupo has led Rollers by example as the team captain. He even scored crucial goals that saw his team reaching the finals. On the other hand Chikomo showed his brilliance to once again get the Top 8 medal after winning it with Gaborone United last season. The young Mambo was also instrumental in United’s winning of the Top 8. His hard work paid off as he scored very important goals for the ostriches. Another Orapa united player Mosimanegape Robert has been nominated for the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award. The young shot stopper is up against BDF XI’s Mwampule Masule and Rollers’ Kabelo Dambe. In this category the writing is on the wall for Orapa United to run away with it. Robert has been incredible in the middle of the post throughout the tournament.
His brilliance kept United in the game during the Top 8 final against Rollers at the Francistown Sports Complex, which they ultimately won to become champions. On the other hand the errors that Dambe committed during the same game could cost him the award. As for Masule he was fantastic but he failed to keep his team in the fight to reach the final, this leaves the P25 000 award in the open for Robert to grab. Orapa United also appears in the Coach of the Tournament award with the nomination of head coach Madinda Ndlovu. Ndlovu is nominated alongside Rollers’ Mark Harrison and Beston Chambeshi of BDF XI. In this one category the competition is really between Harrison and Ndlovu. The two coaches got their side to the finals and Ndlovu has an upper hand since he outclassed Harrison to take the trophy to Orapa. It was a very technical fight between the two and Ndlovu emerged victorious. Ndlovu is poised to win the P25 000 award, having led Orapa United to the championship of the lucrative tournament. The Ostriches bagged a whopping P1.2 Million as the price money.