Full strength Tafic wanders into unfamiliar Pilikwe Ground *Matjimenyenga look to extend lead to eight points
Tafic Football Club’s return to the premier league could happen sooner than expected.
Matjimenyenga’s three seasons in the wilderness can come to an end and their push for elite football clearly defined when they take on a lukewarm Morupule Wanderers at Pilikwe Grounds on Saturday..
The Francistown Club could open an eight point gap with a victory against Major David Bright’s side.
The Reds are leading the pack with 33 points after 15 games, with BR Highlanders lying second with 28 points from the same number of matches played.
“Our fate is in our hands. A victory against Wanderers will leave us with just six matches to seal an emphatic return to the elite league,” said Tafic Manager Carlos Motaung.
“It is doable,” he added.
Motaung together with his chairman have been credited with overseeing a complete transformation of the once troubled club.
In an interview with Voice Sports Motaung said they have learned the hard way as a club to let such an opportunity slip away.
He said before the start of the season; management, supporters and all stakeholders met to map the way forward.
“We ironed out some burning issues and agreed collectively to look at the bigger picture which is to bring back the club to where it belongs,” he said.
He said issues like late payments of players’ salaries have been resolved through the help of the technical sponsor and other sponsors who will be revealed soon.
“Our supporters have also played a pivotal role through the purchase of club merchandise. This is the revenue we use to motivate our players and the results are clear for all to see,” Motaung told Voice Sport.
He further said he was confident that the club will finally return to the elite league and bring back the glory days last experienced during the era of Best Sechele and Wrist Mmusi.
“We are 95% in the league. From where we are, we have a good chance to progress because our closest challengers still have to face each other,” he said.
Tafic need to respond after their four game unbeaten run came to a crushing end away to second placed Highlanders.
The 1-0 loss meant Matjimenyenga missed a golden opportunity to open an eight point lead above their closest challengers.
Against the eighth placed Wanderers there’s no margin for error.
The team’s caretaker coach Elias Chinyamba is aware of what the weekend slip up means.
“Some of my players did not take the loss well. I had to have a man to man talk with a few of them and they are now back and raring to go,” said Chinyamba.
The coach who took over after the suspension of Blessing Moyo said their main undoing against Highlanders was inability to convert numerous chances.
“We have been working on target shooting and I’m happy with what I have seen,” he said.
Chinyamba was also boosted by the arrival of some key players who have been nursing injuries. Of note is the return of Mbathi Machongo who netted against Wanderers in the 2-1 first round win in Francistown.
“I’m hoping for a bigger winning margin, and then call me with four games remaining to confirm our league status,” Chinyamba cheekily added.
Depending on how BR Highlanders performs this coming weekend, a win over Wanderers could move Tafic closer to the promised land, but a loss could be the beginning of the end.
On the flat surface of the Pilikwe Ground, can Tafic bring their legendary undipe di kupe brand of football that made the team a household name? Kick-off is 1600hrs.