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A decision that ended a decade-long dominance

MQONDISI DUBE
Dethroned: Rollers have been the dominant force in local football PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) decision to declare the football season complete, handed the BTC Premiership title to Jwaneng Galaxy.

The title would carry less significance, as it was not won entirely through sweat.

The league race was set for a photo finish, with four teams, Galaxy, Township Rollers, Orapa United and Security Systems, all in with a chance.

Rejuvenated Gaborone United (GU) were also part of the cluster that had congregated at the top of the Premiership standings.

It was a fast and furious season, which however, failed to draw good crowds, despite the close contest.

Only a point separated Galaxy and their closest pursuers, Rollers and Orapa when the season was declared closed with 10 matches remaining. The pendulum could have swung either way in the last stretch, but the football gods smiled on Galaxy.

In the process, a decade-long dominance was broken. Since GU beat Mochudi Centre Chiefs on the last day of a glorious 2008-2009 campaign, no other side other than Chiefs and Rollers, has laid its hand on the BTC Premiership trophy.

Rollers in particular have been brutal in their dominance, amassing seven titles in the last 11 seasons.

Popa won the league in four consecutive seasons, between 2015 and 2019, before the default judgement ensured Galaxy gatecrashes the party.

Of the 11 seasons since telecommunications company, BTC came on

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board, the 2008-2009 campaign was arguably the best.

Few fans would forget the final game of the season where, under the fading Molepolole sunshine, GU grind out a gritty 1-0 win over a star-studded Chiefs.

Molepolole Sports Complex’s concrete slabs were filled way before the 3:30pm kick-off in one of the best adverts for local football in recent times.

After GU’s moment in the sun, a fierce rivalry ensued between Chiefs and Rollers. Chiefs won three titles between 2012 and 2015, which sandwiched a Rollers win in 2014.

After the 2014-2015 season, the Rollers’ one-man show began, as the MmaMasire side put distinct daylight between them and their rivals.

The demise of Chiefs, which began around 2015 and was confirmed through relegation two seasons ago, contributed to Rollers’ relentless match to four consecutive titles.

Chiefs were the acknowledged Rollers threat, but succumbed to a common local disease; infighting.

In came Galaxy and Orapa United, although the two do not command the same following as crowd pullers like Extension Gunners, Rollers, Chiefs and GU.

Previous winners:

2008–2009: Gaborone United

2009–2010: Township Rollers

2010–2011: Township Rollers

2011–2012: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2012–2013: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2013–2014: Township Rollers

2014–2015: Mochudi Centre Chiefs

2015–2016: Township Rollers

2016–2017: Township Rollers

2017–2018: Township Rollers

2018–2019: Township Rollers

2019-2020: Jwaneng Galaxy



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