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'Double Trouble' haunts local clubs

Rollers fans were the last to celebrate a double PIC:MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Since Township Rollers' 2005 Coca-Cola Cup and League double, no other side has managed to achieve the feat. It has been almost 13 seasons of trying, with no club bagging more than one trophy per season, writes MQONDISI DUBE

In 2005, a reinvigorated Township Rollers emerged from the dusty First Division grounds, to grab a rare double under the late Banks Panene.

Rollers, were forced to go down, after a horrendous campaign in the 2003-2004 season, losing 2-1 to Nico United in the final match of the season to confirm their departure from the Premier League.

It was a dark period for a club with a decorated history.

However, they returned the following season with renewed vigour and with two competitions on offer; the Coca-Cola Cup and the St Louis League, they swept both.

It was a team dripping with the talents of Phenyo 'Mzambia’ Mongala, Tshepo 'Schoolboy' Molefhe and Tshepiso 'Sox' Molwantwa. It was one of the best assembled teams, but arguably not the best in the last two decades.

There has been the Mochudi Centre Chiefs side who won the league unbeaten in 2008, while Gaborone United of 2009 was equally special.

ECCO City Greens, the first team from the north to win the league in 2007, had great talents, while the Township Rollers of Terrence Mandaza and the Chiefs of Pontsho and Dirang Moloi were right up there.

But the double eluded all these sides. At the end the season, it will be 13years to the day since a club last won a double. Why has it been so?

Botswana Gazette sports editor, Bongani Malunga argues it has to do with squad depth and management.

“I think local clubs have not mastered the art of squad management. Winning multiple trophies (in one season) requires great squad depth. Our teams usually invest in strong line ups without strengthening their bench. Cup games are a one-off, this is where bench players can excel when trying to earn a starting berth in the league line up,” he said.

Malunga believes that if more clubs learn squad management, they

will have better chances of winning multiple trophies.

“Fatigue and injuries creep in when the players are not managed well,”  he added.

Zebras coach, David Bright, whose side Mogoditshane Fighters was so indomitable at the turn of the century, said a good pool of players is key to winning more than one trophy per season.

“The last time I won a double, we had a good pool of players, quality players as well as good support from the BDF.

It was more of a professional set-up. If you look at Rollers now, they have good players. It's about quality. They have a professional set-up. Most teams are struggling. One might argue about the mine teams (Orapa United and Jwaneng Galaxy), they suffer due to consistent change of coaches. They have quality but have been unstable on the technical team. Consistency is key,” Bright said.

He acknowledged that it was not easy to win a double but with the right material and depth, it was possible.

“At Fighters, I had 30 quality players,” he said of a team that had the talents of diminutive left back, Mompati Banda, Modesto Chilundumeni, Barney Marman and Masego Nchingane amongst others.

Rollers is however, on course to break the jinx, as they lead the BTC Premiership, two points ahead of rivals, Galaxy with as many matches remaining. Popa has already won the Mascom Top 8.


League winners since 2004

2004–05: Township Rollers

2005–06: Police XI

2006–07: ECCO City Greens

2007–08: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2008–09: Gaborone United

2009–10: Township Rollers

2010–11: Township Rollers

2011–12: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2012–13: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2013–14: Township Rollers

2014–15: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2015–16: Township Rollers

2016–17: Township Rollers


Cup winners since 2004

2005    Township Rollers

2006    Notwane

2007    Botswana Meat Commission 

2008    Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2009    Uniao Flamingo Santos

2010    Township Rollers

2011    Extension Gunners

2012    Gaborone United

2011/12: Township Rollers (Mascom Top 8)

2012/13: Gaborone United

2013/14: Botswana Defence Force

2014/15: Gaborone United

2015/16: Orapa United

2016/17: Jwaneng Galaxy

2017/18: Township Rollers




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