No doubt defending league champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs will use their Friday fixture against the on-form Extension Gunners to settle scores over their prized asset and key marksman, Kekaetswe Mara Moloi.
Gunners nearly snatched Mara from Magosi in this just-ended transfer window but for a late-minute technical gaffe. Certainly Magosi have not taken the matter lying down and will want to punish the Peleng side for this mishap, while Gunners will obstinately try to prove to Chiefs that having money does not mean they are entitled to anything and everything.
Memorably, their first round fixture played in Francistown was a closely-contested affair. Chiefs edged Gunners by a solitary strike from Lemponye Tshireletso. The loss led to the dismissal of the then Gunners’ coach Keitumetse Pio Paul who now seats in Chiefs bench as Mike Sithole’s assistant.
Both Sithole and Paul have coached Gunners and know the highs and lows of the Lobatse giants. In the same token, although now over five seasons ago, Nare has also coached Chiefs and knows the Kgatleng giant’s culture. For the past eight games, Nare has not tasted defeat with his only blot being a draw.
Thus the game promises to emit fireworks as the three men aim to prove a point or two. There is now a sense of rejuvenation and belief at Gunners who recently held the then log leaders Orapa United and big spenders Gaborone United to draws.
Gunners go into the duel after beating Miscellaneous 3-0 while Chiefs accounted for Gaborone United’ 2-0 loss last Friday. But Gunners know that only a win could push them into the top eight slot they so crave. Yet Chiefs come with their own burden as well. Sithole knows that every game he plays counts.
For some time he has been under scrutiny as his future has been in doubt in the minds of his employers. A win for him too, will enhance his chances of being retained at the club. Both sides have players with big game temperament, among them Gunners’ Moemedi Moathaping who was formerly with Chiefs.
On the other hand, rejuvenated Lemponye Tshireletso has proved to be a live wire for the defending champions. As always the talent of Gunners’ new signee Mandla Mgadla and the inspirational leadership of Pontsho Moloi should bring excitement to the fans.