Mmegi Online :: Chiefs can afford to sleep some other time, not tomorrow
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 September 2018, 12:14 pm.
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Chiefs can afford to sleep some other time, not tomorrow

Local football matches do not get bigger than a clash between Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers. Chiefs might be deep in the arms of Morpheus, evidenced by the side’s heart-wrenching start to the season, but tomorrow, they cannot afford to continue snoozing, least they lose, argues Staff Writer, MQONDISI DUBE
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 27 Oct 2017, 12:54 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Chiefs can afford to sleep some other time, not tomorrow








On paper, Mochudi Centre Chiefs appear more gentler than a lamb to the slaughter.  Township Rollers fans expect their side to spend tomorrow afternoon pawing a dead mouse in Chiefs.

The rivalry between the two sides has gathered momentum in recent years, but appears to be heading south.

More than a decade ago, this encounter did not arouse much interest. Chiefs were still not the finished product and were without a league title in their history, while on the other hand, Rollers were fresh from the First Division.

But that has evolved after Chiefs, cantered to their first title unbeaten in 2008.  The complexion of their clashes against Rollers significantly changed and the two sides have mercilessly rotated the title between themselves bar Gaborone United, gatecrashing the party in 2009.

Their clashes have given new meaning to the new Premier League‚ and later Premiership era.

The absorbing contests have continually proved to be the sugar in the tea.  But there is a lingering concern; Magosi are on a steady decline.

After a poor 2016-2017 BTC Premiership season, many, including neutrals, had hoped to see the rise of phoenix, but thus far, there has been no fairy tale.  Boardroom issues were picked as the reason behind a shocking decline, where players went for months without pay.

They battled hard under Zimbabwean coach, Bongani Mafu, to finish seventh last season, defying the well documented troubles.

But as they huffed and puffed during a forgettable campaign, they ruthlessly rolled back the hand of time in last season’s first round fixture, with a fine 3-2 win over their bitter rivals, before a stunned

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Rollers crowd. Everyone had declared Chiefs, a dead team walking.

That National Stadium triumph last October, woke up all the Magosi family’s sleeping hopes. But it turned out to be a false chase; nothing more than a flash in the pan. In the full glare of a stunned football family, Chiefs have slid back to mediocrity, and that has rumbled on unabated through the season. Hapless fans clad in black and white could only say, “cry the beloved team”, as the boardroom issues take toll and claim the unwanted limelight.

However, the Kgatleng giants’ fans can drag their weary bodies to the National Stadium tomorrow, with memories of that 3-2 win on a hot October day, providing glimpses of hope.

Chiefs proved they can rise from the dead and go toe-to-toe with their biggest rivals.

Chiefs have operated in fists and starts since, with memories of that sparkling afternoon fading into the horizon.

The black and white outfit was hot in January, but cold in October, defying the summer temperatures.

They have continued with their slumber after shock back to back 3-1 defeats to Miscellaneous and Black Forest last week.

Chiefs and Rollers have become the headline encounter of the BTC Premiership season.

Therefore, while Chiefs can afford to sleep in other encounters, that luxury cannot be extended to tomorrow’s blood and thunder encounter; a lot is at stake, including protecting the quality of the Botswana Premier League product. And again, no other side, in the absence of a commanding Chiefs, has raised its hand high enough to be considered the heir to the Kgatleng side’s throne.

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