PALAPYE: Sua Flamingoes coach, Rapelang ‘Razor’ Tsatsilebe has said they would not press the panic button as yet, after the perennial second round slump hit the Sowa-based side.
Flamingoes are yet to win a match since the second round of the Debswana First Division North league began, after two draws and a defeat. The poor run has allowed chasers, Nico United to close the gap, with the two now tied at the top on 29 points.
The second round blues are not new to Flamingoes. After gaining promotion four seasons ago, the team dominated under coach, Elias Chinyemba.
They surrendered top spot in the last game of the first round and subsequently endured a torrid second round. A similar situation recurred under Dominic Changwe last season when they let their lead slip and failed to recover. TAFIC and Morupule Wanderers took full advantage and progressed to the elite league.
Tsatsilebe, who joined at the start of the season, said he was aware of Flamingoes’ second round challenges. “It is just a slump that we are busy addressing. We can’t panic. It is best it happens now when we have the time to address it rather than later in the season. We are still focused,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nico’s dream of returning to the elite league was revived last week when they closed the gap on Flamingoes. The two are on 29 points apiece but Flamingoes stay top, thanks to a superior goal difference.
Majombolo chairperson, Moloko ’Ace’ Masoja praised his technical team and the commitment the squad has
Masoja said they maintained focus during a strenuous financial period when grants were delayed. He said they carried on with zero budget, but players remained true warriors and maintained focus despite the massive challenges.
He added that the mandate was to take Nico back to the top league. He said they had given a good account of themselves the entire campaign, but were undone by numerous draws they registered.
Masoja said the intention was to extend their unbeaten streak. They have conceded once in their three wins in the second round. Although he said it was challenging to find adequate financial support, Masonya was happy the community of the former mining town was rallying behind the team.
“We have encouragement from all the people. We are enjoying the support from all football lovers in Selebi-Phikwe. We are hopeful that we will maintain our streak and hopefully go all the way to bringing top flight football to the town,” he said, noting football has been the major source of entertainment for years in the town.
Nico host Green Lovers on Saturday while Flamingoes will search for their first win of the year away at third placed Eleven Angels.
Sankoyo and Maun Terrors face up in a Maun derby, Motlakase are home to Tonota FC, while Francistown City Greens host cross town rivals, Great North Tigers.