Township Rollers spectacular season continued on Wednesday night, the club reigning supreme at the Mascom Top 8 Awards to claim all but one of the awards on offer.
Popa’s dominance comes on the back of their second ever Mascom Top 8 title, when they beat Orapa United 4-2 to claim the P1.3million prize money that went with the seventh edition of the tournament.
The top prize on the night went to Rollers captain Maano Ditshupo, who was voted Player of the Tournament for the second time in his career having won the award in 2016 (he also won the top goal scorer award that year).
The Number 1 Safe Hands, the award for the competition’s best goalkeeper, went to Mapalastina shot-stopper Keagile Kgosipula while Popa mentor Nikola Kavazovic scooped Coach of the Tournament.
The only accolade to elude Rollers was the Yellow Boot, awarded to the tournament’s top scorer. This year’s recipient was Gaborone United’s Obonwe Maome, whose five goals were enough to secure the award.
Talking to Voice Sport after the glitzy event, which were held at the GICC, Ditshupo attributed Rollers success to hard work and their commitment to the game this season.
“This has been a hectic season looking at the number of league, Top 8 and CAF games we played. Defending this award means a lot to me. It shows I am doing something right in my football career and it motivates me to work even harder,” said the 33-year-old Popa player.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng praised Mascom for the ‘significant contribution’ they have made to sport in Botswana.
He noted this was evident through the mobile giant’s sponsorship of sporting activities such as Athletics, Football, Horse racing, Netball, Car racing, Chess and Karate.
“This kind of support has in part, motivated our athletes to outdo themselves in various international competitions. The 25 Million Pula that Mascom invested in the Mascom Top 8 tournaments alone is a massive investment.
“The amount of time and money they invest in sports development cannot go unnoticed and I encourage other private sectors to do the same,” said Olopeng
For his part, Mascom Chief Executive Officer, Jose Couceiro said the Top 8 tournament continues to make strides in the game of football in Botswana since its inception in 2011.
He stressed that Mascom remain committed to redefining the image and perception of football in the country.
The CEO congratulated Popa for being Top 8 champions and qualifying for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League Group stages.