The newly promoted clubs Mahalapye Hotspurs, Tsholofelo Rolling Boys and Black Forest will have a great deal of trouble in surviving in the upcoming 2016/2017 be-Mobile Premiership, but what many may miss is the intense competition from teams in the lower divisions. Gazette Sports correspondent THABANG REGOENG gives in depth methods how these promoted teams can survive in the high octane Premiership, despite not having a luxury of experienced campaigners up in their ranks.
Need for strengthening in the transfer window
Squad investment is needed to stand a genuine chance of staying in the top flight. Poor and indifferent recruitment has also been a problem that has followed First Division South & North respectively.
Last month Black Forest coach Bakanuki Maseko made a bold statement that he will keep faith in his promotion heroes next season, a move which remains to be seen. However, for all promoted sides a good transfer window is good for their prospects.
Resist temptation to sell star players
When a player changes clubs, for a host of reasons, the odds of him repeating previous good performances at a new club are highly unlikely. In the past transfer window, Serowe based outfit lost star striker Moatlhodi Ralesotla to Gaborone United, a deal which went on to affect both the club and the player.
On the pitch meanwhile, the post Ralesotla era proved crippling. Losing your best players is always going to unsettle a club, but the rate which Lovers slumped from a potential Mascom Top 8 side to the relegation dog fight was surely immense.
If there are coaching changes, make them early
The three newly promoted clubs have something in common, none of their coaches has led a team in Botswana’s top flight before. This publication has analyzed an ongoing trend which the promoted teams sack coaches who have led them to the top division.
Also another late coaching casualty last season was BR Highlander’s Tebogo Mokute who made way for Lebitso Ratlou following a torrid spell as the club went 18 games without a win.
Make their home stadiums a fortress
A vital element to a successful side in the Premiership, is a strong home record and a venue they can call a fortress. However in our local borders, apart from Orapa United, teams do not have the luxury of playing all their home games in one venue.
The mining club boast the best home record in the previous season, losing once in the 15 games they have played at Itekeng stadium. This record has been the platform for a title challenge launch and Mascom Top 8 triumph last campaign.
However, it is widely predicted that Mahalapye Hotspurs will play majority of their games at the Serowe Sports complex while Black Forest and Rolling Boys might opt for the SSKB stadium or Molepolole Sports complex; they would have to make their venues tough places to visit in order to survive.
Support from club hierarchy
Football has become more result oriented, patience and support have taken a back set in modern times. Support from boardroom level can go a long way in terms of giving a coach a vote of confidence, which would eventually trickle down to the players.
The presence of transfer committee has to be there for a coach to get players he would desire to work with. Not being able to have a decisive say on transfers can immensely be frustrating for a coach, so management should not interfere in the manager’s plans.