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Coaching merry-go-round hits top speed

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Da Costa PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
With the BTC Premiership heading into the final third, causing panic and anxiety both at the top and the bottom, the coaching merry-go-round has officially now reached top gear.

Out of 16 teams, only six have not changed coaches so far this season.

Miguel Da Costa has become the latest casualty, joining a long list of coaches who have been either fired by their clubs, or decided to leave for greener pastures. Jwaneng Galaxy confirmed his sacking on Wednesday afternoon although reports of his imminent departure started surfacing immediately after the Sunday defeat to Security Systems.

His dismissal has reportedly caused uproar between some supporters and the management with the former accusing the latter of serving their own interests and not of the club.

Da Costa’s sacking has not only shocked the club’s supporters but also sports commentators because of his tactical acumen. He led Galaxy to a Mascom Top 8 title last season and finished second in the league. This season he could not get Galaxy past the semi final stage after being knocked out by Orapa United. Currently, Galaxy are sitting in position four with 38 points, just two behind log leaders, Township Rollers.

Da Costa has now joined the likes of Nikola Kavazovic and Thomas Trucha who despite their top qualifications and proven track record have not managed to finish this season with their respective clubs. Trucha took over from Rodolfo Zapata.

But midway through the season, he received his dismissal letter from Rollers after some disappointing results. He has since been replaced by new gaffer, Frank Nuttall. Kavazovic had arrived at Gaborone United (GU) after a short stint in Kenya. At GU he replaced Philemon Makwengwe who was deployed to look at the development structures of the club. Makwengwe had just been roped in to replace Zimbabwean coach, Madinda Ndlovu who was recovering from the hospital.

Despite his qualities, which he showed at Rollers two seasons ago when he won a double, Kavazovic struggled to grind results at GU in his few games at the helm. Supporters ran out of patience and a scuffle ensued at Molepolole Sports Complex, which eventually led to his departure.

Makwengwe returned to the position only to be suspended few weeks ago. With his suspension still ongoing, Pontsho Moloi who joined from Extension Gunners as an assistant coach is in charge on interim basis. Already some people are predicting Makwengwe’s departure while several names are being thrown about as possible replacements, which would mean Moyagoleele have changed coaches four

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times already after 19 league games.

At Gunners, they have also experienced high turnover of coaches this season. At the start of the season, they were under the tutelage of Moloi who later joined GU. Veteran coach, Stanley Mwaanga then replaced him. At the time when Gunners looked promising and out of the relegation zone, Mwaanga left to join TAFIC. While other coaches bite the dust mostly because of poor results, it is a different story for Gunners whose coaches decide to leave on their own. The financial struggle that has been associated with the club for many years cannot go away. They do not only lose coaches but also quality players for greener pastures. 

Police XI recently also parted ways with head coach, Mike Sithole after a string of poor results. Sithole however is credited with rebuilding the side that finished inside the top eight bracket last season after fighting relegation the previous season. Junior Lotlaamoreng who was Sithole’s assistant is currently drilling the side.

BDF XI have also fired Louis Setshwane with Letang Kgengwenyane taking over the reins in a familiar occurrence which has been taking place for many years at the once feared Premier League side.

Notwane found themselves in a situation beyond their control when they had to hire Oupa Kowa after the Botswana Football Association declined to approve the appointment of Gilbert Mushangazike. 

Molepolole City Stars have had their own fair share of problems as far as keeping coaches is concerned. They started the season with Enosi before he was shown the door. Young coach, Wame Mokoke joined them but later left to join Gunners.

However Prisons XI, Mahalapye Railways Highlanders, Miscellaneous, Orapa United, Morupule Wanderers and Gilport Lions have managed to stick with their mentors thus far. Mogomotsi Mpote has so far done relatively well at Orapa United this season.

He led them to the final of the Mascom Top 8 and is currently sitting in position two in the BTC Premiership log. Blessing Moyo has also retained his position at Highlanders who are sitting in position six. Paradzayi Mandivenga has stayed loyal to Gilport Lions despite their struggles while Daniel Nare remained with Security Systems where they are currently challenging for the league title. Prisons XI and Miscellaneous have also retained Sepheko Motlhagodi and Chippa Koolese respectively as head coaches.

 



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