FRANCISTOWN: Lack of home ground advantage is one of the major reasons why BR Highlanders has often been relegated from the elite league.
BR Highlanders coach, Kabo Dintwa lamented the situation soon after his side beat Great North Tigers on Saturday to secure promotion back to the Premier League.
“Because we do not have a suitable ground (in Mahalapye) all our home matches are played outside Mahalapye,” he said, adding that, “Playing outside Mahalapye means that our players are constantly on the road. This is very tiring for the team. The constant travels also dent our budget. Furthermore, we do not get an opportunity to play in front of our supporters, which is a very big disadvantage in any sport”.
Dintwa is however hopeful things will change. “I hope the management will find a way to deal with the matter so that we can compete effectively and maintain our league status.”
At one point Debswana First Division North (FDN) side, Motlakase Power Dynamos, who are based in Palapye, played their home games in Serowe or Francistown while they were still
The club later resolved to use the less fancied Palapye Swallows grounds after realising that the exercise to play its home matches in other areas was costly and unsustainable. The Botswana Premier League (BPL) later deemed the ground unsuitable for use, and Motlakase had to seek alternative venues in Serowe, Selebi-Phikwe and even Orapa.
Then it was not common for Premiership matches to be played on hard surface. Dintwa, meanwhile, attributed his team’s promotion to hard work and discipline.
“I have been with the team for sometime in various roles and to me the current crop of players are the best I have worked with in terms of discipline.”
In addition Dintwa highlighted that the financial incentive often provided by the club’s main sponsor Botswana Railways has created stability and kept players happy through the season.