Mochudi Centre Chiefs are accustomed to being a title chasing club, they have won three league titles in the past six seasons and are widely expected to be perennial title challengers by default, however, their current league spot suggests otherwise as the club’s downward spiral has effectively ended their title aspirations, based on current form the Mascom Top 8 qualification could be their consolation prize this season.
Magosi are currently situated in the 10th spot in the BTC Premiership league standings with only four wins in 14 games so far this term. Their decision to part ways with multiple league and cup winning coach Mike Sithole appears to have led the club into unknown and undesirable territory.
In contrast to his former side’s struggles, Sithole is overseeing Jwaneng Galaxy’s meteoric rise to the elite group of leading local clubs in the country. Galaxy are currently second on the log, they are three points behind Township Rollers having played a game less, a win would take them level on points with Rollers and with a chance to sustain a serious title challenge.
Galaxy were already a top half team when Sithole joined them but his arrival has since turned them into a more formidable side as they are aiming to upset the odds and challenge Rollers and Orapa United.
The Zambian coach is a serial winner who has collected silverware with almost every club he has coached in Botswana, the Kgatleng giants took a gamble by hiring Zimbabwean tactician Bongani Mafu to usher in a new era for the club but the project is yet to yield the desired results. A 2-1 win over Rollers in the league last year remains the only bright spot in the club’s disastrous season as results have been hard to come by.
What a difference a year makes (The Sithole effect).
At this time last year Chiefs were third on the league table under the tutelage of Sithole while Galaxy were seventh and fighting for Mascom Top 8 qualification. Fast forward 12 months later to the present day and Galaxy, now coached by Sithole, are second on the log while Chiefs are currently 10th and in danger of missing out on qualifying for next season’s Top 8 competition. Sithole is the common denominator in each team’s upturn or decline in form this season, his departure has weakened his former side while his arrival has strengthened his current side.