Mogoditshane Fighters were once an undoubted dominant force in the elite league, winning four league titles between 1999 and 2003.
This demonstrated their credentials, which places them amongst the most successful teams in the country, at joint fourth with Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
The Samba Boys birthed some of the country’s dazzling football careers including that of Adebnico Powell, Masego Ntshingane and Mogogi Gabonamong who all went to don the Zebras jersey.
As if that was not enough Fighters former coaches, Letang ‘Rasta’ Kgengwenyane, David Bright and Stanley Tshosane have been part of the Zebras set-up.
Tshosane took the Zebras to their first ever AFCON finals in 2012. In his only third season as a coach, former Extension Gunners’ striker, Tiroyaone ‘TRX’ Mohambi is hoping to write his name in the team’s rich history.
The former Zebras took charge at the Mogoditshane-based side midway through last season and helped the team move from the relegation zone to finish sixth.
Mohambi, however, did not enjoy the best start to his first full season. Consecutive 1-0 defeats in the first two games of the season to Chiefs and Uniao Flamengo Santos sent worrying signs about the tactician’s ability and club’s ambitions as he had previously only coached Lobatse Stars in the Southern Region Division 1 league.
Mohambi’s charges found their form with a 4-0 win over Jwaneng Fighters and have since gone eight games unbeaten. In the process the team has conceded just once, with a total of only four conceded in 10 games played thus far while they have found the back of net 15 times.
“I did not panic after our loss to Chiefs, I always told everyone that Fighters can win this league.
I think it all starts with the way we play. I always want to win in the midfield first because that’s the most important department in the team. I was a second striker during my playing days. So I was playing more coming from the midfield hence why I know how critical this department is.”
“I also think the belief in the team is our greatest strength. I want to win my games bit by bit. I am a young coach so I am not worried. I have mature players; they have played both in the elite league and First Division. Of course, this winning streak is going to give us a lot of confidence, but I know they can keep a level head. They have been ready and have the right confidence for the games. I lead a lot of positive minds,” the 38-year-old said.
He, however, expressed worries about the team’s charge towards promotion as he said off-the-field issues would determine how they finish.
“I am not yet in a position to say that we will win the league, at the moment it is just a five-point difference. Issues outside the field of play can affect teams. My players are not paid, not even a single thebe. So at times it can be difficult for them to come training, amongst other things. They are all here because of their love for the game,” he said.
TRX once finished as the second highest top scorer in 2006-2007 season with 17 goals, just one behind golden boot winner, Master Masitara. He has outlined his plans to return to the elite league as a coach, but says he is not in a hurry.
“I would be grateful to take Fighters back to the top.
At the moment, I would only join a Premier League team as an assistant coach, although my qualifications allow me to be a head coach. I am still learning and I want to learn more, so I am not in a hurry.”
Name: Tiroyaone Mohambi
Teams Played for: FC Satmos, Mogoditshane Fighters (2000-2005), BMC (2005-2006), Gunners (2006-2007), Gaborone United (2008-2010) champion, Gunners (2010-2011)
Honours: League Champion with GU (2009), Coca-Copa Cup with Gunners (2010)
Teams Coached: Lobatse Stars and Mogoditshane Fighters
Coaching badges: CAF C licence, CAF B licence