Piro’s final test

Portia Mlilo
D-DAY AWAITS: Pontsho Moloi

All on the line for Moloi as GU meet Orapa in Orange FA Cup

Currently out of contract, local coach, Pontsho ‘Piro’ Moloi can put down a big marker for the Gaborone United top job when his Reds take on Orapa United in the Orange FA Cup Final at the National Stadium this Saturday.
The Money Machine go into what is currently the richest game in domestic football, where P800, 000 awaits the winners, as two-time defending champions, having lifted the crown in 2022 and 2021.
Piro's final test
FINALISTS: Gaborone United to play Orapa United in the Orange FA Cup Final
On both occasions, Moloi was in the dugout as assistant coach, number two to Innocent Morapedi.
This time, however, the 41-year-old rookie takes full charge of the team, as he has done for much of the season. The former Mochudi Centre Chiefs star is well aware that leading GU to victory would put him in a strong position when re-negotiating his contract, which ended on 31 May.
To do so, he will have to outwit a wily veteran in Orapa’s experienced Zimbabwean coach, Tawurai Mangwiro.
Initially scheduled for 10 June, the finale was postponed to this weekend – a cancellation that caused both clubs quite the headache as they had a number of players who, like Moloi, saw their contracts expire at the end of May. It was reportedly not easy convincing them to stay for another month.
Despite this, Moloi, fresh from taking to the field in the Legends match against South Africa last weekend, told Voice Sport mood in the camp was upbeat, his players keen to end the season on a high note.
He revealed those that were picked for the Zebras returned from national team duty on Tuesday, whilst he gave the rest of his playing squad a week off after the season ended.
“They have rested and recovered. This is going to be an exciting and difficult tactical encounter. We should give our fans value for their money. It is a tough test for me and the game means a lot,” said Moloi, adding he has a fully fit side to pick from.
“Management talked to those whose contracts came to an end in May. We have a plan and I believe my boys will execute it well and we defend the cup,” declared the youthful tactician, who, when quizzed on his own contract situation, revealed management had agreed that he be allowed to concentrate solely on Saturday’s final before taking to the table for talks.
As well as a bumper pay-day, the champions will represent Botswana in the CAF Confederations Cup – Africa’s second biggest club competition.
The losers, meanwhile, will receive a cool P400, 00 to dry their tears.
Piro's final test
Road to the Final
Both teams know what it takes to win this comp, with Orapa emerging victorious in Season One back in 2019; both will be desperate to win it again!
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