Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
It is all systems go as Premier League gets underway

The 2010-2011 be MOBILE Premier League bursts into life tomorrow with all 16 teams in action in the opening weekend. Mmegi Staff Writers, BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO and MQONDISI DUBE preview the season
By Staff Writer Sat 20 Dec 2014, 00:36 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: It is all systems go as Premier League gets underway








Township Rollers

Rollers are perennial favourites for the title but this time round, they face difficulties. They will have to fight hard to be focused locally in their defence of the league and the Coca-Cola Cup and to prove themselves in the CAF Champions League. They look likely to be hit hardest by the departure of Itayi Gwandu to Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Before his arrival at Rollers, the champions were struggling at the back - letting in easy goals. They have not replaced the towering defender although it was clear during the transfer window that he was on his way out. Newly appointed coach, Wesley Mondo will have a tough task trying to lift the morale of the players who are said to be unhappy with the way the issue of bonuses has been handled.

Players in: Justice Dongwana (Monarch), Canny Gaontebale (Police XI), Kobamelo Kebaikanye (New Highlanders), Musonda Mweuku, Sekhana Koko (both Chiefs)
Players out: Terrence Mandaza (Platinum Stars, South Africa), Itayi Gwandu (Chiefs), Bokamoso Digwere (Police XI), Thabiso Mathe (Chiefs)
Coach: Wesley Mondo
Star Players: Joel Mogorosi, Sekhana Koko, Kabelo Dambe
Position last season: Champions
Home ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Gold and blue

Mochudi Centre Chiefs

The Kgatleng giants have been consistent in the last three seasons, including winning the title in 2007-2008. They have finished runners-up in the last two seasons. They had a minor boardroom shake-up at the end of the season. The side has lost reliable defender, Given Mpundu and speedy winger, Sekhana 'Nandos' Koko, which might affect their balance. But the signing of Itayi Gwandu from defending champions, Township Rollers should compensate for Mpundu's loss.
Chiefs will have to do a lot of shuffling following the arrival of award winning coach, Rahman Gumbo from rivals, Rollers. Under Zambian coach, Wesley Mondo, Magosi had grown accustomed to a lone striker upfront, which somehow limited their attacking options. Gumbo on the other hand relied on fiery attacks, which arguably landed Rollers' title after five seasons of trying.
Players in: Itayi Gwandu (from Township Rollers), Thabiso 'Bobby' Mathe (Rollers),
Players out: Sekhana 'Nandos' Koko (Rollers), Given Mpundu (Gaborone United), Gontse Tlhowe (GU), Dirang Moloi (Vasco Da Gama, South Africa).
Star players: Noah Maposa, Pontsho Moloi, Othusitse Pilane
Coach: Rahman Gumbo
Last season's position: 2nd
Home ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Black and white

Uniao Flamengo Santos
Santos took many by surprise last season when they fought all the way to secure position three with a young squad. The combination of Mogakolodi Ngele, Farasai Nyamunamwendo and Godfrey Ngele gave many teams a headache. They seemed to be building an empire until coach Clever Hunda surprisingly parted ways with the club. They still look strong though but have lost some important players. Nyamunanwendo's departure has certainly left a void in the young team. His commitment was extra-ordinary and he had an eye for goal. Another player whose departure is likely to be a huge blow for Santos is Lesotho international, Bushi Moletsane. The two players joined Hunda at Police XI. Santos have brought in experienced players in midfielder, Jackie Mothatego and striker, Botlhe Rankgomo.
Players in: Jackie Mothatego (Police XI), Botlhe Rankgomo (Naughty Boys), Tumelo Sentle (UF Desportos), Kabelo Olerile (Mochudi Buffaloes), Russell Wellio (UF Desportos), Moeti Botshetse (Security Systems), Thabo Marumo (Queens Happy Hearts), Mpho Ramodimo (Merafhe), Mosimanegape Pelaelo (Killer Giants), Faith Keletso (ECCO City Greens)
Players out: Nyamunamwendo (Police XI), Moletsane (Police XI), Oabile Tlhajwane (Notwane), Pako Lekgari (BMC)
Coach: George Mogopodi
Star players: Mogakolodi Ngele, Godfrey Ngele, Thato Bolweleng
Position last season: 3rd
Home Ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Blue and white

Extension Gunners
After their well-documented fights with relegation in previous seasons, Extension Gunners have come good in the last three campaigns. Under the astute guidance of flamboyant coach, Daniel 'Chicco' Nare, Gunners managed fourth position last season. However, the boat was rocked when there were reports that Nare was told to apply for the coach's post if he wanted to be retained. Coupled with reports of discontent in the camp and departure of some experienced campaigners, Mapantsula might struggle. Nare is expected to remain at the helm although he will be minus some of his trusted lieutenants, who have switched clubs. The popular Lobatse side only made two signings, bringing in Raphael Nthwane and Tiroyamodimo Mohambi, both from GU.
Players in: Raphael Nthwane (GU), Tiroyamodimo Mohambi (GU)
Players out: Bernard Semakwezi (Nico), Ntungamili Tshoganetso (Nico), Othusitse Mahube (Notwane), Phodiso Ngwako (TAFIC)
Star players: Finkie Mothibi, Monageng Thaele, Maano Ditshupo
Coach: Daniel Nare
Last season's position: 4th
Home ground: Lobatse Stadium
Colours: Black and white

ECCO City Greens
Mamoja Diskie seemed to have lost their killer instinct last season although they managed to finish in fifth spot. The constant changing of coaches could have been the key factor in their loss of form. The good thing about the Francistown side is that it has kept most of the players, especially the stars who led them to their historic league title in 2006-2007.
Players in: Chamunorwa Madamombe (Boteti Young Fighters), Gobonetse Thabologo (The Crowns), Kabo Mungabe (Sladde Eagles), Keoagile Kgosietsile (New signee), Daniel Takobana (Donga Initiates), Emmanuel Nlu (Gunners)
Players out: Victor Watlala, Itumeleng Selapa (both TASC), Faith Keletso (Santos)
Coach: Maxwell Moyo
Star Players: Patrick Lenyeletse, Mandlaenkosi Sibanda, Ontse Ntesa
Position last season: 5th
Home ground: Francistown Stadium
Colours: Green and White

BDF XI
The army side set lofty heights under the tutelage of Stanley Tshosane but it is now a pale shadow of itself though it has the players to turn things round. They have signed Zebras fringe player, Moreetsi Mosimanyana from Notwane. The return of Modiri Marumo from Egypt is a big boost. Importantly, they did not lose any player during the transfer period. Former coach, Losika 'Six' Keatlholetswe returned towards the end of the campaign and he will get sufficient time to prove his worth. The former champions are eager for silverware,  having last tasted success in 2004.
Players in: Moreetsi Mosimanyana (Notwane)
Players out: none
Star players: Modiri Marumo, Patrick Motsepe, Mompati Thuma
Coach: Losika Keatlholetswe
Last season's position: 6th
Home ground: SSKB Stadium
Colours: Green and red

Gaborone United (GU)
GU are going to be serious title challengers given their buys during the transfer period. With the return of Mike Sithole as coach and the CAF competitions out of sight, they will have more focus locally. The experience gained in CAF competitions will come in handy. They have not lost key players except Raphael Nthwane who they have replaced with former Chiefs goalkeeper, Gontse Tlhowe. They have released Tiroyamodimo Mohambi and Mpho Mabogo.
Players in: Musa Ohilwe, Thebe Maiketso (both BMC), Godiraone Segaisi (Money Machine), Victor Puoeng (TASC), Kedirile Raphala (Tourism), Thabang Dira, Kelello Kgosimore (both Letlapeng), Tlhowe (Chiefs)
Players out: Mohambi (Gunners), Mabogo (unattached), Nthwane (Gunners), George Mponiki (Black Peril)
Coach: Mike Sithole
Star Players: Ronald Chikomo, Ofentse Nato, Stephen Maposa
Position last season: 7th
Home ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Red and white

Notwane
The former glamour club of the mid 1990s has fallen on hard times in recent seasons. Notwane has seen successive clubs pluck their promising players at will as they have no financial muscle to block the moves. They recently lost Mosimanyana to BDF XI. They were in good pre-season form in the Gaborone Challenge Cup last weekend. Toronto have a young squad and a coach capable of reviving their fortunes. Notwane have not hesitated to bring new faces to the team.
Players in: Agisanyang Ramaabya (Police XI), Othusitse Mahube (Gunners), Mothusi Lekoko (Letlapeng), Oabile Tlhajwane (UF Santos), Elijah Motseodile (Maun Tigers)
Players out: Moreetsi Mosimanyana (BDF XI), Letumile Molebatsi (Policce XI), Elijah Kabwe (Miscellaneous)
Star players: Botlhe Moralo, Keoagetse Radipotsane, Michael Bulaya
Coach: Luke Masomere
Last season's position: 8th
Home ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Gold and black

Nico United
Nico United started last season like a house on fire and some tipped them to chase the league title to the end but their form faded towards the middle of the campaign. The club is notorious for starting the league very slowly only to make a dramatic return to form when everyone has already written its obituary. Last season, Nico proved that with the right players and management, it can go places. The club has registered a good number of quality players among them Ntungamile Tshoganetso and Bernard Semakwezi. With the right frame, they should be able to improve on last season's position.
Players in: Tshoganetso, Bernard Semakwezi (both Gunners), Obakeng Gaobaneng (Jwaneng Comets), Trevor Moiseraele (Motlakase), Thulani Moyo (BMC), Kefetotse Molapo (BMC), Omphile Mothathobi (Kalamari Machine), Aupa Baboloki (Phikwe Aces), Thabiso Mabachi (River Plate)
Players out: Samuel Phiri (Miscellaneous), Thobo 'Fish' Kgoboge (Satmos)
Coach: Willard Khumalo
Star Players: Monametsi Kelebale, Kitso Kowa, Bernard Semakwezi
Position last season: 9th
Home ground: Selebi-Phikwe Stadium
Colours: Green and Gold

Police XI
After the capture of former Uniao Flamengo Santos' coach, Clever Hunda, Police XI showed their determination to revive their glory days. The Jungle Kings last lifted the title in 2005-2006 and they will be eager to return to winning ways. They struggled last season leading to the departure of veteran coach, Barry Daka. The club has made a wise buy in former Santos striker, Farisayi Nyamunamwendo probably as a direct response to Richard Mwanza's declining fortunes in front of goal. They have captured a number of signatures from fellow police side, Wonder Sporting, which acts as a feeder to Police XI.
Players in: Pelaelo Hlaabano, Lefi Maitapiso, Dikgakgamatso Kesolofetse, Kabo Nthela (all Wonder Sporting), Bakang Dintwe (Kgabosetso), Bokamoso Digwere (Rollers), Farasai Nyamunawendo, Gaotlhobogwe Molemisi, Bushy Moletsane (all Santos), Letumile Molebatsi Notwane, Lapologang Motlogi (Jwaneng Comets)
Players out: Kagiso Molapi (Miscellaneous), Laundry guy Tchape (TASC), Thatayohle Gaokgorwe (Motlakase), Canny Gaontebale (Rollers), Agisanyang Ramaabya (Notwane), Jackie Mothathego (Santos)
Star players: David Makakaba, Betshu Pius, Jackson Legodi
Coach: Clever Hunda
Last season's position: 10th
Home ground: Otse Police College
Colours: Maroon and gold

BMC
BMC fought relegation for the better part of last season. They roped in Sithole who had to release some of key players, much to the surprise of some supporters. But the team soon recovered and ended up in position 11. They have lost two valuable players in Thebe Maiketso and Musa Ohilwe who joined GU. This could hamper their chances of improving on last season's performance but they have signed a number of unknown players who are said to be very promising.

Players in: Ditiro Kenosi (Mogoditshane Fighters), Kobe Keeagile (Masitaoka), Takudzwa Ndoro (Killer Giants), Ofentse Mpudi (Southern Kanye), Itumeleng Louw (Kang Royals), Pako Lekgari (Santos), Mpho Gaboitsiwe (Mochudi Buffaloes)
Players out: Ohilwe , Maiketso (both GU), Thulani Moyo, Kefetotse Molapo(both Nico)
Coach: Kaizer Kalambo
Star Players: Mosimanegape Ramoshibidu, Kenanao Kgetholetsile, Phemelo Ditsile
Position last season: 11th
Home Ground: Lobatse Stadium
Colours: Green and white

TAFIC
The sleeping giants of the north are determined to wake-up. TAFIC command a large following and have been the 'Big Brother' in Francistown until the arrival of ECCO City Greens. TAFIC's progress has largely been hampered by financial challenges. But the executive, in a bid to arrest the slide, have mooted privatisation and reports are that the club is in a better financial position. TAFIC has raided the market to strengthen their side.

Players in: Chakazha Pharo (Boteti Y. Fighters), Galebonegwe Lemphorwana (Maun Tigers), Ndulamo Mbakile (GNT), Botlhe Ramadi,, Lesego Radipeo (both Shoshong United), Thuso Maunge (GNT), Clarkson Dzimbiri (Shooting Stars-Zimbabwe), Thapelo Mphapho (Orapa Wanderers). Phodiso Ngwako (Gunners),  Mlamuli Phakathi (Boteti), Marvin Kaele (Young Strikers)
Players out: None
Star players: Tamocha bedi, Alphonso Modisaotsile, Mlamuli Phakathi
Coach: Paul Moyo
Last season's position: 12th
Home ground: Francistown Stadium
Colours: Red and white
Motlakase
Motlakase's debut in the Premier League last season was not rosy. Having to play all their home games away because of lack of a stadium in Palapye proved to be a major obstacle. It would be a major boost if their stadium is ready soon. They do not seem to have registered many players but they have also not lost too many. The experience they gained last season could take them to a much better position in the new campaign.
Players in: Thatayotlhe Gaokgorwe (Police XI), Kagiso Ramokgathadi (Naughty Boys), Cosmos Sebona (Boteti Young Fighters)
Players out: Trevor Moiseraela (Nico)
Coach: Stanley Mwaanga
Star Players: Jomo Bolofete, Gaokgorwe
Position last season: 13
Home Ground: Francistown and Selebi Phikwe Stadiums
Colours: Maroon and white

TASC
Relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, TASC will be eager to make amends. They qualified via the play-offs, seeing off the challenge of Killer Giants and Letlapeng.  They have made a few signings to strengthen their squad, including the capture of experienced Victor Watlala, Itumeleng Selapa and Cameroonian, Laundry Guy Tchape. They have an experienced coach in Seth Moleofi.
Players in: Victor Watlala, Itumeleng Selapa (both ECCO), Keleagetswe Mogomotsi (Bakwena Royals), Bennett Dikobe (GNT), Laundry guy Tchape (Police XI).
Players out: Victor Poueng (GU)
Star players: Selapa, Tchape
Coach: Seth Moleofi
Last season's position: newly promoted (Runners-up First Division South)
Home ground: Francistown Stadium
Colours: Gold

Black Peril
It is difficult to tell if the rookies will hold their own in their debut season. They were a force to reckon with in years gone by but have since waned. Teams have always come with big reputations from the First Division but found the going tough in the Premier League. It will be interesting to see how prepared Black Peril are for the season but they have not made significant signings.
Players in: George Mponiki (GU), Tshubu Piet (Gantsi Terrors), Mosweu Thakadu (New Highlanders), Kgotlamotse Ncaagae (Masitaoka), Tebalo Mokoduwa, Kakanyo Motlhabanare (both Gantsi Terrors)
Players out: None
Coach: Taloba Nthaga
Star Players:
Position last season: newly promoted (First Division South champions)
Home Ground: UB Stadium
Colours: Red and black

Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous have realised their dream of playing in the Premier League and have become the second pride of Serowe-Palapye after the entry of Motlakase last season. Their promotion should ignite the bitter rivalry with Motlakase which excited fans when the two were frontrunners for the sole berth to the Premier League two seasons ago. Miscellaneous coach, Teenage Mpote is an experienced mentor having handled junior national teams. Their biggest undoing will be the absence of a suitable Premier League venue in Serowe. Like their Palapye rivals, Motlakase, the club will be forced to travel to Francistown or Selebi-Phikwe for its home games.

Players in: Elijah Kabwe (Notwane), Kagiso Molapi (Police XI), Oratile Mmasa (Orapa Bucs), Lesego Tafa (Combination Stars), Samuel Phiri (Nico)

Players out: none
Star players: Godfrey Ramatedula, Emmanuel Thakadu, Samuel Phiri
Coach: Mogomotsi 'Teenage' Mpote
Last season's position: Newly promoted (First Division North champions
Home ground: Francistown/Selebi-Phikwe Stadiums
Colours: Red and white

 



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