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Derby Friday

Kabelo Dipholo
GOOD GOING: Tafic keen to bounce back after BDF loss

A battle of wits as Tafic takes on Angels in Ghetto

After almost a decade, the Francistown derby is back.

The last memorable derby in the Botswana Premier League was in 2014 between Ecco City Green and Tafic, Mamoja Diskie emerging 2-0 winners. Matjimenyenga relegated that season, and Ecco fell in the following season.

With the emergence of the youthful Eleven Angels, who rose like a phoenix to the country’s elite league, and the revival of a well fueled Tafic, the Francistown derby is well and truly back with a bang.

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Friday 8th will mark the start of a new rivalry in the second city. Fifth placed Tafic will lock horns with the 12th placed city rivals at the Old Francistown Stadium at 1630hrs.

With Angels looking to move away from the drop zone, they come up against a Tafic side looking to reclaim their top four a position which they lost to Jwaneng Galaxy on Wednesday.

In an interview with Voice Sport, coach Philimon Makwengwe said he expects fireworks on Friday.

“I’m facing my student, and I expect him to come out and express himself,” said Makwengwe.

“For 90 minutes the town will be divided by football. It’s going to be a battle of wits,” he said.

The Tafic tactician said with two players he got from Angels at the start of the season, he feels he has competitive edge.

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“Both Shanganani Ngadla and Kudzani Sibanda would be happy to put one past their former employers, and that’s a positive in our camp,” Makwengwe said.

Coming on the back of a 1-0 loss to BDF XI, in a match they dominated, ‘Tha Phil’, as he’s called, told Voice Sport that players have undergone counselling following the disappointing loss.

“They’re now furious. It’s a fury we’ve to manage because while it is good it can also work against us. Fury can bring anxiety and that is not what we want in a derby,” he warned.

The tactician said they should not undermine Angels, despite their struggle early in in the league, Makwengwe has warned his charges to approach Angels with caution.

“They’re our seniors in the division, but are our children in terms of establishment,” he said.

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“We want redemption after our loss, but most importantly we want to reclaim our top four spot, as we intend to stay there until the end of the first round,” Makwengwe told Voice Sport.

Despite his team defeating Tafic 3-2 in pre-season, Angels coach Seemo Mpatane, whose team has won only two matches from eight played, sung his rivals praises.

“They started well, and have very good quality players,” said Mpatane.

“Right now they’re the favorites,” he added.

The youthful coach said he always looks forward to playing against his mentor.

“Makwengwe holds a special place in my heart. He taught me everything I know about coaching and it’s always special to face him,” he told Voice Sport.

Mpatane however says he’ll be bringing a depleted side on Friday with five of his key players out with injury.

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“Remember I lost eight key player during the transfer window, so I’m literally building a new team. We’ve been plagued by injuries and suspensions, and you might see a few square pegs in a round hole on Friday,” revealed Mpatane.

The tactician however said the derby offers them an opportunity to bounce back and get their campaign on track.

“A win could do wonders for us. This derby could be what we need,” he said.

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