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No new players for Orapa United

CHAKALISA DUBE
Orapa United coach, Mpote believes his current squad is strong enough to challenge for honours next season
FRANCISTOWN: Orapa United mentor, Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote has vowed to strongly resist the urge to sign more players ahead of the start of the new Premier League season billed for February next year.

Mpote made his remarks yesterday, days after his side was eliminated from the Confederations Cup after conceding a late goal against Rwandan side, AS Kigali.  United lost the match 2-1 on aggregate. This was the second time Orapa crashed out of the CAF Confederations Cup at the first hurdle following a 6-0 aggregate score against Mbabane Swallows in 2018.

Over the years United have earned a reputation of buying a lot of players during the off-season and some of them didn’t perform well. Now Mpote has said the club has decided to change its approach.

“As the technical team we have done thorough assessment of how we do things. We have realised that bringing in many new players each season often impacts us negatively,” he said.

“We have since decided that from the upcoming season we will not be signing many new players in the new season. The team that we have can compete for honours next season and we do not want to destabilise it. We believe that if we do not constantly make changes to our team, soon we will be able to compete.”

Mpote pointed out that

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the team would inevitably sign one forward in a bid to create depth because it currently has three strikers.  The former Zebras coach added that they have picked a number of positives from the weekend match.

“The weekend match was a good experience for the boys. Majority of them have never played in CAF competitions. The exposure they have got will help them compete for both domestic and CAF honours in future,” he said.

In addition, Mpote noted the club has strong ambitions of making an impact in CAF club competitions. He, however, said that United’s chances of progressing in this year’s Confederations Cup were blighted by relatively poor preparations.

He said that it was evident that his players lacked match fitness, as they were last in action in March this year.

“We did not have enough friendly games with established sides because of the restriction on movement owing to the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations,” he said.

“If we were based in the Greater Gaborone zone we would have played many friendly games in preparation for the AS Kigali game because many elite teams are based there (Greater Gaborone).”



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