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Early pacesetters H値anders, Motlakase clash

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Motlakase PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: Pacesetters, BR Highlanders travel to second-placed Motlakase Power Dynamos in a Debswana First Division North top of the table clash tomorrow.

Motlakase and Highlanders have cultivated a rivalry that is growing intensely by the season. The two relegated from the Premiership two seasons ago. Their arrival in the lower league added to the blistering campaign that was decided at the wire last season. Both lost out to eventual winners, TAFIC. Highlanders manager, Witness Phuthego said after evaluation of the past campaign, they discovered depth was their main undoing.

“We had planned properly for the past season, but we realised in the postmortem of the season that we lacked depth,” he said. “That is why we failed to recover along the way.”

Phuthego said to avoid a repeat, they have brought in a number of youthful players to improve endurance and kept a few experienced players for guidance. He said they are ready for their weekend opponents. “Our intention is to keep above our opponents until the final whistle. We don’t know what they (Motlakase) have done, but we know their style and we have prepared well for them.” The log leaders took four points from Chouka last season. At Palapye Swallows, Highlanders beat Chouka 3-1 and drew 2-2 in Mahalapye. Highlanders hold a slightly better record than their opponents from their eight

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official meetings since 2012. They won twice, drew five times, while Chouka won once.

Chouka coach, Pule Mogotsi said his young side exceeded expectations last season. He said they have smelt the blood and this season their eyes are on the ultimate prize.

“We are a young side but we carried ourselves well last season. We have more or less the same team and our philosophy has not changed.

“It will not be easy but from the experience we carry from last season we can do better. There is talent in this team and the boys deserve to be competing in the top league.”

He did not read much into statistics of their previous meetings with Highlanders. He said he is confident from their past two games that they have a solid team. “They (Highlanders) will be confident because they lead the log, but on the balance of play we have always been better than them. It’s a new game for us.”

In the other games, Morupule Wanderers host Francistown City Greens, Maphatshwa welcome Sua Flamingoes, United Hotspurs play GNT, Green Lovers travel to Real Movers. In the only Sunday encounter, Nico United meet Calendar Stars. All games kick-off at 4pm.



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