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Three-pronged battle shaping up in the north

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Morupule Wanderers are among the pacesetters
PALAPYE: A developing battle amongst TAFIC, Morupule Wanderers and Sua Flamingoes promises a close fight for promotion in the First Division North. TAFIC are top, followed by Morupule while Flamingoes are third.

Matjimenyenga and Flamingoes are unbeaten. Flamingoes have not conceded a goal and scored five in their four games, while TAFIC have played five, scored 16 and conceded four.

Morupule lost 2-0 in their opening encounter that was a derby against rivals Motlakase Power Dynamos.  Wanderers recovered well and have collected maximum points in their past four encounters.

They have scored seven goals and conceded two in an exceptional run.

Wanderers are under the tutelage of Boyo Radipotsane who led Miscellaneous to a top eight finish in the Premiership.  Wanderers have the experienced duo of Master Masitara and Kgololo Kgogobi at their disposal.

Masitara opened his lower division account in the past weekend against Eleven Angels. Club chairperson, Nelson Kgosipheko said after their promotion to First Division league in 2016 they set 2018-2019 as their target for promotion to the elite league.  He said they would fight on all fronts to attain the target. “In 2016-2017 we were settling in the First Division, 2017-2018 we were adapting and finished fourth.

We have now acclimatised, and we know what it takes,” Kgosipheko said. Elias Chinyemba guides Matjimenyenga and believes they have a better squad than they had when they were relegated from the Premiership last season.

TAFIC have managed to retain the core of the squad that was relegated from the Premiership. They have seasoned players in the likes of Boitshoko Zikhale and Shoes Selefa. Samuel Phiri is also up for contention after returning from a lengthy suspension. Chinyemba said when the club re-hired him he was told the mission was to hit a u-turn to the Premiership. “My bosses

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showed belief in my tactics, and they have helped me bolster the squad. I am confident we will return,” he said.

About 200 kilometres away from Francistown, Flamingoes who missed promotion by a whisker last season have also launched well for automatic promotion.

Their campaign was rocked by the recent tragic loss of Lovemore Murwira, but the team has recovered. They are watertight at the back with the leadership of former Satmos and Nico United, Remy Ralegoreng.

They have the experience of Muyenga in the midfield and leadership of the experienced Patrick Lenyeletse and Tendai Nyamadzawo upfront. The new striking force has not come to the party yet; the strike rates are still not up to par, with five goals in four games. Club chairperson, Rebagamang Sekgekge said the team had moved on from the recent cloud of sorrow.

He said although they took a serious knock, their determination would not be derailed by circumstances.

“Our results speak volumes. We have not lost and we have not conceded. We are determined to attain qualification spot,” he said.

Former Premiership clubs; Green Lovers, Nico United, Francistown City Greens and Motlakase are not far off, but their start to the campaign has been hot and cold. This weekend log leaders, TAFIC travel to Nico United in Selebi-Phikwe, Flamingoes are away at Eleven Angels, and Wanderers will play in Serowe against Green Lovers.

City Greens host Real Movers, Motlakase and Palapye All Stars meet in a Palapye derby with Great North Tigers and Calendar facing up in an all Francistown encounter.



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