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Big guns miss out on Top 8 spots

Publishing Date : 04 June, 2018

Author : BAKANG TIRO

BTC premiership crowd pullers Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Extension Gunners have failed to secure top 8 spot in the heavily contested 2017/2018 premier league season which saw defending champions Township Rollers snatch the championship in a photo finish.


Township Rollers are champions for the third consecutive year running. The only blur in their Blue army celebration was the report that over P800 000 was robbed at gun point from their CA Sales offices in Gaborone. The money was part of the proceeds from gate takings in their title decider match against Extension Gunners. This is the third time in two years that Township Rollers offices have been vandalized and cash stolen.


Back to the BTC Premiership, the season was not a good one for Mochudi Centre Chiefs or Magosi and Extension Gunners popularly known as Mapuntsula as the duo finished outside top 8 bracket something which has shown that the league indeed was competitive. Mochudi Centre Chiefs finished on position 9 with 38 points and Gunners on spot number 10 with 37 points.


In their last game of the campaign, Centre Chiefs’ hope of finishing in top 8 was very dim as a victory over Jwaneng Galaxy could only take them to 40 points and this meant that they will not overtake Black Forest who had already accumulated 41 points despite losing 2-1 to relegated TAFIC of Francistown.


Extension Gunners who lost 2-0 to the champions, Township Rollers also stood no chance of top 8 finish at this stage. There were a lot of permutations that were to play out for Gunners to make it to top 8. They should have registered victory against high flying Township Rollers but that victory was also dependent on Jwaneng Galaxy beating Mochudi Centre Chiefs.


Gunners and Chiefs have endured a torrid time during the just ended campaign as the teams faced similar challenges in terms of availability of resources. Chiefs have run almost the entire season without a full time coach with the team being under the caretaker management of Innocent Morapedi while Tumi Duiker was at the helm of the hot Extension Gunners seat.


The teams have also been marred by controversy with regards to the welfare of the players which in most instances saw the players boycotting training because of failure to be paid their monthly salaries by the management. Recently Extension Gunners suspended some of its senior players who had boycotted their League game against Gilport Lions. The players were protesting over unpaid salaries. Gunners’ supporters pin-point the players frustration as the reason why they failed to get a spot in the top 8 spot.


Meanwhile TAFIC, Union Flamengo Santos and Gilport Lions kissed good bye to the BTC Premiership after being relegated to First Division. TAFIC and Santos were promoted to the premier League for the new season and found themselves going back down to dusty grounds together with long time marked relegation candidate Gilport Lions.


The three are replaced by BR Highlanders, Notwane and Prisons X1 which were promoted to the premier league following their good run in First Division South and North leagues. Next season they will share the stage with the likes of exciting Township Rollers, Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United on what also promises to be a glittering season as well.

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