In the opening eight fixtures, five gruesome derbies have been played and yielded a massive 25 goals between them. TASC have been supreme winning all their first round derby games; GNT won one derby and lost twice while ECCO City Greens won once and lost once. Former Premiership side, TAFIC, is yet to taste a derby win. ECCO and TAFIC meet in the last first round derby this weekend at the old Francistown Stadium.
Competition between the four is stiff with a difference of five points between them. TASC are the city’s top ranked team on position three with 14 points, five points behind the leaders, Sua Flamingoes.
GNT are on position six, two points behind TASC with Matjimenyenga seventh with 11 points, while ECCO are a point below on position nine. With the recent display of passion and commitment, Francistown is clearly yearning for a team that will bring back beMOBILE Premiership action to the city. Nonetheless, lack of adequate financial backing over the years has seen teams fall deeper and deeper to the lower leagues.
TASC coach, Boynyana Galebowe, said they are performing well but lack of sponsorship holds them down. “We have struggled financially over the years and the P50,000 a season we get from our league sponsors is not even enough to cover our traveling expenses.
“We are digging from our pockets to keep the team afloat, businesses have turned a deaf ear on us.
We are only lucky because most of our players are mature and they have agreed to volunteer. We have all committed ourselves to sacrificing and working hard in order to gain promotion. It will help us if we were the first team to return to the Premiership,” he said.
GNT chairperson, Thebeetsile Motswaeng said the sponsorship challenge in the north is that 90% of the companies have their headquarters in Gaborone.
“Most of the companies here are based in Gaborone and some are South African companies and they are already committed elsewhere. We also have a challenge of teams from the south swooping on our players as we struggle financially.
“However, we are committed to winning a promotion.
For marketing reasons the first team in Francistown to win promotion to the Premiership will benefit a lot and we are eyeing that spot,” Motswaeng said.
ECCO public relations officer, Ontiretse Israel echoed his colleagues’ sentiments. “The only reason we find ourselves in the First Division is because we lost our sponsor and then we were deep in financial struggles and ultimately lost our players but as a big team we want to get back to the Premiership.
“We want to be the first team to take ownership of the new Francistown stadium. We are just a few points from the leaders and we are confident we will get our momentum soon and we will be there at the top in the end,” he said.
The TAFIC spokesperson could not be reached for comment as he was busy in a meeting.