New Chairman planning a Red revolution
After a three-year battle to return to the elite division, Tafic’s participation in the Premier League lasted just 30 games.
In a cruel climax to their first season back with the big boys, despite amassing 34 points, the Francistown giant’s 2017/18 campaign ended in the heart-ache of relegation on the final day of the season – consigned to the dreaded drop by last day wins for Security Systems (who unexpectedly beat Orapa United 1-0) and Sankoyo Bush Bucks.
It is the highest points tally achieved by a relegated side since the BPL’s expansion to a 16-team league in 2004.
In the end, the Reds finished a single point behind Systems, Bush Bucks and Police XI – a single point and a different league!
Indeed, Matjimenyenga managed nine wins last season, the same number as Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
However, this was little comfort to Tafic’s fans, who were left licking their wounds in bewildered dismay after the club’s desperate efforts to preserve their Premiership status ultimately ended in failure.
It was time to go back to the drawing board as diehard supporters wondered what could have gone wrong, with many pointing the finger of blame at ‘behind the scenes’ problems.
Enter Carlos Sebina.
The new chairperson was unanimously voted in at the club’s Annual General Meeting last month.
A dyed in the wool Tafic fan, Sebina has hit the ground running and is determined to turn his beloved club’s fortunes around in the next two years.
“First I have to applaud the past Tafic Executive Committees, they have done well. The fact that we managed to honour all our fixtures last season shows that we have a foundation to build on,” Sebina said in an exclusive interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday.
The Destiny Car Rental Director pointed out there were teams founded in the same year as Tafic – 1959 – that no longer exist.
“This is due to the dedication from past committees. Our task now as the new committee is to build on this legacy and make this team a brand that everyone will be proud of,” stressed Sebina, his eyes blazing with the same passion many Francistowners have for Tafic.
The new chairperson is quick to state that the new committee’s mandate is long term and will involve a different approach, including demanding more from supporters.
“Currently to be a Tafic member you pay P100 annually, that can’t be enough! My focus will be to lay down the foundation. I’ll focus more on administration because one thing I quickly picked up since being voted in is that our structure is standard.”
The highly-rated businessman revealed one of his first objectives will be to ensure he has ‘the right people in the right positions’.
“We are running a business here and we are going to have 30 employees with employment contracts. This requires understanding of labour laws BFA and FIFA regulations,” he explained, adding the club would only enjoy continuity once members of the Executive Committee have clearly defined roles.
“We don’t want a situation where a Chairperson will be seen selecting players, or a Secretary who controls the club’s finances. We want people who understand their roles!” he declared animatedly.
Concerning Tafic’s continued struggle to attract sponsors, Sebina said they first have to prove they are an accountable club, which requires having up-to-date accounting books.
“We’ll have different accounts, not all in one used for salaries, operations and investments. We have to sell our plan, structure and budget to potential sponsors,” stated Sebina, who noted some of the things they need do not necessarily require money.
“We can have partnerships. For instance to get office space, a partner can provide that as contribution while another can provide office furniture which will be manned by a full-time employee.”
Admitting that turning Tafic around will require tenacity and patience, Sebina stressed that his committee is looking beyond short-term goals.
“We are looking at strategy. We are coming up with lasting solutions that will sustain this team for decades to come; it is doable!” he insisted.
“Getting promoted back into the league is short-term and a task force can be appointed to do that, our mandate is to look beyond that.”
Sebina further told Voice Sport that the new committee intends to revive relationships with former Tafic players and the committee of elders.
“We are looking at all possibilities. Former players can be instrumental in setting up our youth teams.
“We are also looking at acquiring land and further intend to have an international friendly once ever year. All this will be achieved in the two years we have been given to run this club,” he said, his face bright with excitement as he contemplates Matjimenyanga’s future.
2019 marks Tafic’s 60th birthday – how the club’s long-suffering fans would love to be celebrating it with an immediate promotion back to the Premier League.