16 August 2018

Botswana: BTC Premiership Starts August 18

Gaborone — The much anticipated 2018/19 BTC Premiership season commences tomorrow (August 18) with seven matches played around the country.

However, defending champions Township Rollers will only be able to start their title defence on Wednesday (August 22) when they take on Black Forest at Molepolole Sports Complex.

Mapalastina are engaged in a continental assignment this weekend. In a match that is expected to draw a big crowd, Extension Gunners welcome Mochudi Centre Chiefs at Lobatse Sports Complex tomorrow.

It will be interesting to see how the two sides will approach the match after hiring new coaches.

Chiefs have Philani Mabhena at the helm while Gunners have appointed Enos Mmesi on a six months contract.

Apart from the new coach, Chiefs have reinforced their squad with new players. They have re-signed Arnold Mampori from Security Systems and Elvis Meleka from relegated Gilport Lions.

The arrival of Koketso 'Shikabala' Mokgatitswane from Sharps Shooting Stars and Morris Ruzivo from Sankoyo Bush Bucks should bring more creativity in the Magosi attack.

The Kgatleng side will be aiming to get their campaign off to a positive start by beating Gunners and improve on a disappointing ninth place finish last season.

Compared to Chiefs, Gunners have not announced many major signings apart from defender Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile from Orapa United.

In another Saturday afternoon encounter, newly promoted Notwane visits Security Systems at Molepolole Sports Complex.

The match could produce fireworks with new players eager to impress. Notwane have bolstered their squad with the addition of several experienced players such as nomadic former Zebras striker Moemedi 'Jomo' Moatlhaping, defenders Katlego Koobake and Keolopile Molemi, midfielders Richard Legwaila, Topo Piet and Lesego Lubinda.

Systems have equally brought in good players such as stocky midfielder Thatayaone 'Popo' Ramatlapeng from Mochudi Centre Chiefs and goalkeeper Mosimanegape Robert, Ronald Chikomo and Kemmy Pilato from Orapa United.

Orapa United hosts BDF XI at Itekeng Stadium on Saturday (August 18).

The Ostriches are another team which has spent big on new blood.

It however remains to be seen whether the arrivals of goalkeeper Bophelo Kealeboga, defender Kelapile 'Zim Dollar' Ndlovu and Lesego Keredilwe, midfielders Onkemetse Powe and Gofaone Mabaya as well as strikers Christian Epoupa and Molaodi Tlhalefang will finally catapult the Ostriches to winning the league.

If these players were to click with other quality stars already in the side, Orapa United will be one of the best teams this season.

Newly promoted BR Highlanders hosts Police XI at Serowe Sports Complex on Saturday. Stimela, as Highlanders are affectionately called, have hardly reinforced their squad and could struggle to cope with the rigours of the Premier League.

The Jungle Kings on the other hand look like a club determined to bring to an end their inconsistent performances of the last two seasons.

They have brought in a proven winner in head coach Michael 'Dubula' Sithole and backed him with good players such as Bonolo Fraiser, Keabetswe Jenamiso, Tonderai 'Bere-Bere' Nyakuba, Lesego Bosekeng, Letumile Molebatsi and the promising Poloko Nkalolang.

Other Saturday (August 18) matches will see Jwaneng Galaxy visiting Philemon Makhwengwe's newly promoted Prisons XI at Otse Police College while Sankoyo Bush Bucks welcome Miscellaneous at Maun Sports Complex.

On Sunday (August 19), Sharps Shooting Stars entertain Gaborone United in a derby match which will be played at Molepolole Sports Complex.

GU will be buoyed by last weekend's BTC Charity Cup triumph while Sharps will be eager to bag the bragging rights again after beating Moyagoleele 3-2 in the two teams' last encounter.

Source : BOPA

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