Party time


Football finally returns as Angels pop Premier League cherry

Five months after securing their place in the elite division courtesy of a famous 5-0 trouncing of Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the play-offs, Eleven Angels will finally make their Premier League bow on Saturday.

First up for the Francistown-based newbies is a home game against Morupule Wanderers. If they are to survive their maiden season in the top flight, it is the type of fixture Seemo Mpatane’s troops will at the very least have to be competitive in.

Speaking to Voice Sport on the sidelines of Tuesday’s training session, Mpatane revealed spirits in camp were high and excitement mounting.

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BRAINS TRUST: Mpatane (R) with his coaching staff

“The boys are happy; they can’t wait to get started. They have been waiting for this moment for a long time and are ready to shine. I am also excited as it will be my first time coaching in the Premier League,” said the 31-year-old tactician as he put his players through their paces at the Old Francistown Stadium.

After a drawn-out preseason, prolonged by BFL’s failure to attract a sponsor for the league, the coach is confident his youthful squad are in tip-top shape and ready to compete.

“I am happy with the performance and fitness of the boys. The only problem we had was the pre-season, which took five months. This was becoming a risk to our players, whom we feared might get injuries while waiting for the games to start.”

However, Mpatane has a full strength squad to pick from. It is a squad that features ten new faces, including the return of Thuso Monyama and Shanganani Ngada in defence, the duo rejoining from Jwaneng Galaxy and Sua Flamingoes respectively.

Another old boy has retraced his steps back to Lekgamu La Bananyana, with Batshani Bee adding fresh fire to an attack that managed 32 goals in 22 outings on their way to last season’s second-placed finish.

Having failed to make his mark at Morupule, Bee will be desperate to sting his old employer’s!

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As well as the exciting new signings, Mpatane has done well to keep the heart of his promotion winning side together, retaining the services of star striker, Monty Enosa and influential winger, Desmond Mtokufa.

The only key players to leave were Goalkeeper, Keletso Lekuni, who departed for Sua and defender, Kefilwe Sekgopi who is now with Security Systems. Both will be sorely missed.

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RED ALERT: The Goalkeepers will need safe hands for the challenge ahead

With progress looking promising on the pitch, Mpatane told Voice Sport off-field issues were also evolving well.

“Preparing for the elite league is not easy. We recently resolved the issue of a camping site thanks to sponsorship from Ngilichi House,” said the young gaffer, whose BFA B licence allows him to coach in the Premier League – previously a CAF B qualification was required.

Originally scheduled for the old council ground, the Morupule match has been moved to the Obert Itani Chilume stadium after it emerged the venue was already booked for a church service.

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“Hiring the new stadium for just one fixture costs us about 10 to 15, 000 Pula, which our team can’t afford,” notes Mpatane.

As well as an unfortunate hit to the bank balance, the change of venue to the cavernous 27-000 seater stadium will make it impossible for Angels passionate fans to create any sort of atmosphere – something they were famous for last season.

They take on a Morupule side looking to build on a 10th placed finish in what was their third straight season in the top division. Led by the wily Chico ‘Dance’ Nare, it will be experience verses youth in the dugout and on the pitch.

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ALL SMILES: The squad looked relaxed and confident in practice

After beating Chiefs to complete their ascension, Mpatane described the moment as ‘a beautiful dream’. At 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, that dream finally becomes a reality.

OPENING FIXTURES (All games 1600hrs kick-off unless stated)


BDF XI vs Gaborone United – Lobatse Sports Complex.

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Holy Ghost FC vs Jwaneng Galaxy – Molepolole Sports Complex.

Nico United vs Sua Flamingoes – Sam Sono Stadium.

Orapa United vs Masitaoka – Itekeng Stadium (1900).

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Township Rollers vs Mogoditshane Fighters – Molepolole Sports Complex.

Prisons XI vs Security Systems – Lobatse Sports Complex.

Police XI vs Extension Gunners – Otse Stadium

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