Next season’s beMobilePremier League seasonwill surely serve up anentertaining spectacle, the offseason has been dominated bytransfer activity and ownershipchanges, signaling a competitiveseason ahead.Renewed rivalriesThe Mochudi Centre Chiefsand Township Rollers rivalry willbe reignited when the season resumes.In the past two seasonsthe gulf in class between the sideshas been evident as Magosi havewon two league titles as well asbeating their opponents in twoof their last four league encounters.Both sides are expected tostrengthen their sides in order tomount a trophy hunt next season.
The clubs have been at loggerheadsin the transfer windowrecently. Madinda Ndlovu is onthe verge of joining Rollers afterfailing to agree on a deal with theleague champions. The move willsurely create a hostile environmentbetween the sides.On the other hand, OnalethataTshekiso’s imminent move toChiefs will bolster the club’s attack.Popa and Magosi have been in-volved in another tug of war involvingGalabgwe Moyana whohad signed contracts with bothclubs within the same week. Therivals have also been competingin the transfer market as theyhave been battling for the signatureof highly rated Nico Unitedwinger Topo Piet.
Magosi are on course to completethe signing of Piet’s teammate,Bonolo Frazer, after beatingRollers in their pursuit of thestriker. The competitive nature ofthe two giants will surely intensifyas both clubs will surely be atthe forefront of transfer activitiesand possibly the title race.Gaborone United (GU) couldalso be a contender after winningthe Mascom Top 8 competition;David Bright has targeted theleague title in his second seasonat the club. He has boostedhis side with the arrivals of EdwinOlerile and former UniaoFlamengo Santos coach GeorgeMogopodi as his assistant.
The Mascom Top 8The P1 million competitionwill consist of arguably its bestlist of participants since its inceptionin 2012. The cup will featureChiefs, Nico United, BDF XI,GU, Ecco City Greens, ExtensionGunners, BMC and Rollers.There will be four teams fromGaborone, two from Lobatse andtwo from the North East region.This will set up a better regionalrepresentation ratio asopposed to last season’s tournamentwhereby there were fi veGaborone based teams includingMogoditshane Fighters, one fromLobatse and two from the NorthEast.The privatization frenzyThe likes of Chiefs, Rollers andBMC have now been privatizedin recent months. Notwane alsojoined the privatization frenzylast week after GMG HoldingsCEO, Kealeboga Mogapi tookover an 80 percent stake in theside.
Gunners and Santos havebeen touted as the next clubs tofollow suit.The clubs will now be competitivein the transfer market as opposedto the old days when Rollers,GU and Magosi dominatedmajor player signings. The privatizationof these clubs will createa more professional setup in thedaily operations of the clubs; achange which has been welcomedby the Botswana Premier League(BPL).Possible return of the NationalStadiumThe National Stadium is expectedto be offi cially openedin September. The BPL is yet toconfi rm when the stadium wouldbe available for premier leaguematches but the possibility of usingthe stadium next season wouldbe a welcome relief for local clubssince they stand a chance to earnmore from gate takings in the 23000 capacity stadium.
TV CoverageSouth African broadcasting giants,Supersport, signed an agreementwith the Botswana FootballAssociation (BFA) in May plusthe BPL to televise league gamesnext season. Last season fanswere starved of league action for amajority of the season as RP Productionswere dismissed by theBFA. The deal will not reap anyfi nancial rewards for the clubs butfans will get a chance to view upto two games per match-day.