While still dealing with the pain of Moatlhodi Ralesotla’s imminent departure, Green Lovers have found themselves between a rock and a hard place as it has emerged that more players will leave the budding Serowe side for greener pastures.
BG Sport has learnt that about four other players are contemplating the idea of leaving the league rookies for their ambitious Gaborone rivals. The players’ exit will be a bitter pillow to swallow for head coach Onthusitse Chips Kootswele who was expecting to bolster his squad around his key players in January. Some of the players believed to be eyed by poachers include midfield magician Tumo Keiketlile and the hard tackling Kudakwashe Manuwere who operates at centre back.
Speaking to BG Sport this week, the outspoken Kootswele said that they won’t stay in the way of players who want to leave the club. “As you know, Ralesotla has confirmed on national radio that he is leaving and we will give him the blessings. We can’t stay in his way and we wish him the best,” a sad Chips told BG Sport. When asked about news surfacing that more of his stars will leave this January, he said: “We are aware that other teams are speaking to our players behind our back. Some of these teams do not want to sign the players, they just want to destabilize (us).” Kootswele was particularly angered by the way Gaborone United approached them in their pursuit of Ralesotla. “What GU did is unprofessional and unacceptable. They wrote us a letter in which they asked for permission to meet with Moatlhodi, this boy is an amatuer player, they should have waited for the window to be declared open before they spoke to us or Moatlhodi. We may be a new team in the premier league but we must be respected. We wrote them back and aired our displeasure,” he said.
For his part, the man at the centre of the storm Ralesotla told BG Sport that he is indeed leaving Lovers but he has not talked to the team about it. “The coach and the rest of the team know I am leaving but I haven’t told them officially. They saw it in the media and concluded the obvious,” he said. The man dearly termed Sissoko said that he has agreed to personal terms with his new employers but he won’t reveal who they are just yet . By all appearances, he is headed for Gaborone United where he will face stiff competition from the likes of Hendrick Moyo and Benson Shilongo, a challenge he says he is up for.
Ralesotla also confirmed that some of his teammates want to leave too but said “I won’t mention names because monna mongwe le mongwe o itse sephiri sa gagwe (every man keeps his own secret).”Despite all this drama midway through the season, coach Kootswele believes that his team will survive the relegation axe this season as they have learnt a lot about the premiership since August.