The just-ended transfer window has been a very busy on for the troubled Gilport Lions as they brought in 12 new signings. The move comes as efforts by management to rebuild the team after it lost 16 of its players towards the end of last year. Lions are currently languishing at the bottom of the BTC premiership. However its executive chairman Kelesitse Gilika is optimistic that things will turn around well for them. Gilika believes that everything is falling into place as the team of youngsters is beginning to gel well together. Following their last week game Gilika was delighted with the way boys played, saying they are promising. “People could see how the boys played against Sharps Shooting Stars. Everybody could see that our project is back on track and the players are playing with some urgency,” said Gilika. He admitted that they made some mistakes in the past but now they have to leave them behind and move forward.
Gilika said they are now implementing a plan to bring back the team to its heights and it is promising to work out well. The team has played about five games - drawn in three and losing two. This does not deter Gilika who admitted that they had lost their initial plan but said they are now rebuilding the team. He said the way the team is coming up is promising and will give teams a run for their money in the second round of the league. While they are still at the bottom of the log, Gilika is optimistic that they will fight their way out of relegation. He pointed out that they are hoping to at least finish in position 13 when the season comes to an end. The current Lions team is said to be made mainly of players who are around 19 years of age. According to Gilika, the aim is to give the young players exposure for them to show what they are capable of as they grow in football. He is optimistic that the young team will not relegate. The passionate administrator said he will still be around football despite reports that had suggested that he might leave.
Gilika said the issue of club ownership is very disturbing to them. Gilport’s problems started when some section that called itself BMC society went up in arms demanding that the status of the club to be returned to that of BMC FC. The concerned group said the team’s status was changed illegally, hence they wanted it back. Gilika said this issue needs to be dealt with and laid to rest as it is scaring away investors from the team. “I do not think this issue is being attended to. Right now I had hoped that it would have been laid to rest. I wish BFA could have called all the interested parties and talked this out. If it is us who are found to have got the team status illegally then we will be chased away or it is the other party that is wrong them too should be brought to book so that the issue is closed,” said Gilika. He said something needs to be done to solve the matter for the team to go found.
With the team facing a disciplinary hearing from the Botswana Premier League Disciplinary Committee one might think that it is a matter that is giving them sleepless nights. However Gilika chose to differ, saying the issue was not destructing the team at all. He admitted that it is not wrong for them to be called to answer for what happened as they are not above the law. The team will have to wait a little longer to hear their verdict as the DC could not meet this week after failing to form a quorum. The disciplinary hearings have therefore been postponed to a later date yet to be announced. BPL office this week said the DC could not form a quorum because of bereavement in the family of one of the DC members and ill-health on the other one. Gilika, however, hopes that all will pass so that they can only focus on the league.