PALAPYE: It took the well-travelled Boyo 'Oris' Radipotsane only one season to deliver Morupule Wanderers Premiership promotion objective in the last season of the club’s three-year goal.
He led Wanderers to successful playoffs against Jwaneng Fighters. His outfit dumped Fighters 4-2 in aggregate. His immediate intentions are to stay at the club and help it settle in the top-flight league in the next two seasons.
He is yet to put pen to paper but acknowledged the restructuring ahead of the club’s maiden appearance at the premiership owed to the contractual delays.
The Pilikwe native expressed confidence that a contract is in the offing and said he has already laid down his premiership plans that involve beefing up the squad and the approach to the top league.
He carries massive experience in the elite league. He already led underdog clubs like Miscellaneous and Motlakase Power Dynamos to top four and top eight finishes respectively.
“I am receiving many calls (offers) day and night, but I am not distracted. My focus is here (Wanderers), I want to make the team settle in the premiership,” he told Mmegi Sport.
His nearly 40-year decorated career in the sport kick-started in 1972 in the dusty streets of Pilikwe.
His dazzling skills at school caught the eye of the home team Free Burgers Football Club that was formed by the late Tshekedi Khama the first where he played alongside Kabelo Kempese, Trigger Molelekwa, Reggie Rabalone and Steven Rasetshane to mention a few.
Three years later at 15-years he joined Sekgoma Khama’s Maphatshwa that was coached by Msoni Khoza. Maphatshwa carried big names like the late Samuel Sono, Bremer Ramaphane, Sugar-Rey Mogotsi, Zero Mosimanegape and African Bele Osara amongst others.
From Maphatshwa he joined Palapye United (PU). It took a derby match against Palapye Swallows in his brief two months PU stint to attract the attention of Township Rollers scouts. The man he remembers only as Gibson spotted him.
He went to Rollers alongside his former teammates; the popular politician and actor John ‘Mazabathi’ Mokandla, a mercurial left-winger of his time and Carter Oraletse.
In his league debut in a Gaborone derby against Gaborone United (GU), Boyo made his mark with a brace in a 3-1 win that was to last until the twilight of his playing days.
He scored the only goal past Sexton Kowa in the next game against Mochudi Centre Chiefs in a 2-1 defeat. Boyo grew into a marvel to watch for his team and a thorn in the flesh of all his opponents alike.
His rise to stardom came with many nicknames at the blues some of which he still doesn’t know the meaning of.
Hordes of Popa supporters named him ‘Mr Rollers’, others called him ‘OAU’ (from Organisation of African Union), while his teammates called him ‘Digger Jazz’, the few names he recalls.
He led Popa as club captain to seven-league silverwares in his second season in 1979, in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987.
He won the Gilby’s Cup, Lions Cup and conquered the African soils in Confederations of African Federation (CAF) games.
Rollers travelled as far as Zaire (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo) to play Mazembe and AS Vita. They also played against Nigeria’s Shooting Stars, Mbabane Highlanders, Manzini Wanderers and Lesotho Police Force.
Boyo also adorned the blue, black and white of the Zebras from his first year at Rollers until he hanged up his boots.
He played alongside Boyce Moffat and his brother Themba ‘Black Engine’ Moffat, Zero Johnson, Chencha Soweto, Tall Mulalu Mulalu, Walker Rathedi, Sexton Kowa, and Brown Gasemotho amongst the team.
While still in his playing heydays, the Rollers team manager Noah Diau encouraged him to learn basics
In 1999 he received a lifetime opportunity to further his coaching studies with an Advanced Diploma in Football Development in Brazil and opened for many others.
In his rich resume he has a Football Association (FA) High-Level qualification, Level Three FA Licence, UEFA B, FIFA B and a recent A-licence he attained this year.
As a coach, he saved Rollers from relegating to First Division twice in 1992 and 1994. He also helped Blue Diamonds escape relegation twice in the playoffs and led the Jwaneng side to a Motor Centre Cup win.
Amongst others in his coaching journey he has been to Mahalapye Hotspurs, BR Highlanders, Gunners, BMC, GU and Orapa Wanderers.
When he returned to Motlakase Dynamos for his second stint he led the club to promotion and left for Jwaneng where he promoted Jwaneng Galaxy in their try after formation.
After promoting Galaxy, he was called to the Zebras fold to assist Peter Butler.
Together with Butler, they rebuilt a fiercely competitive Zebras team that roused the sleeping supporters of the national team and made Francistown Sports Complex a revered Zebras fortress.
African giants like Mali and Burkina Faso can attest. They came out of the second city empty-handed. Boyo took over the Zebras hot seat on interim basis when Botswana Football Association parted ways with Butler in 2017.
He led Zebras to the Confederation of South African Football Association (COSAFA) Castle Cup plate final in the same year. Zebras lost the final 2-0 to South Africa. After the COSAFA Cup Boyo was fired from the national team. He later joined Miscellaneous and led Tse Nala to top four finish despite the well-reported financial crisis at the club.
“We struggled a lot with sustaining the players and these are some of the things that led to my leaving of the club. I had achieved what I wished for,” he said.
From Tse Nala he joined Wanderers. His campaign was challenged by his unavailability at times as he was doing an A-licence course. He praised his assistant coach, Pule Mogotsi for holding the fort while he was away. “But it (the coaching course) helped at the end. Our preparations for the playoffs owed to that course and we had a sure plan we were going to promote to the premiership. It was not a fluke,” he said.
Boyo sees Wanderers as a perfect club where he can finally settle at and leave a lasting impression of his coaching career. He understands the vision of the club and by far he has received the support he wanted.
“We have set achievable records so that we don’t put pressure on the players. In the next few seasons after settling in the premiership then we will certainly challenge the top teams.”
He said he wishes to set up development structures for the club and revive others in the region to provide a platform for the vast raw talent Tswapong is known for.
“I am building a future for this team and the region. Wanderers are a blessing to the future of this area. I have seen developments here, and I don’t think things are done accordingly and I want to make an input,” he said with passion to make a positive change.
Boyo’s massive experience in the local football scene will be tested as he leads his premiership rookies into the unforgiving elite league next season.