Sharps shooting stars find themselves in the rarefied air among BTC premiership teams following their promotion this past weekend, the first time ever, in their 34-year history. However, work has just begun for the Old Naledi Boys. What awaits them is an even stiffer challenge of surviving the 2017/18 premier leagues. This will be the first time the team gains promotion to the bright lights and lush turf of elite football. For over 34 years the Naledi outfit has been hovering between 2nd and first division.
However, halfway through this season the team applied a tried and tested formula of mixing their squad with both fresh and experienced talent. The team secured signatures of experienced players like Monageng Thaele, Raphael Nthwane and Moemedi Jomo Moatlhaping.
“From the onset, there was a plan to go forward and take each game with equality. Both the management and the technical committee pushed as a team,” said former Extension Gunners striker, Jomo Moatlhaping.
“We made sure that we win all our games at home and fight for either a win or a draw.” Moatlhaping said in 21 games they only lost once with around 8 draws”. The former Township Rollers player said they scored over 20 goals and conceded less that 10 times.
Despite the current buzz and attention around the new premier league contenders, Moatlhaping said they were not looking to win their last game against Skoon Boys in Charles Hill this weekend.
Moreover, Moatlhaping said entry into the premier league does not necessarily require experienced players and cited the sensational premier league rookies Black Forest, as an example.
Surviving in the premier league depends on the dedication of players in the team. Regarding support during their long sojourn to the premier league, Moatlhaping said supporters did not come to games in droves at the beginning.
When the team started winning, supporters began to trickle in. “Nevertheless, there are players who have been with us all the way.” In an interview this week, Sharps president Isaac Chilisa said the team is still in a joyous mood following their achievement.
“There were no guarantees, there were times the team was shaken up over results. We may need to reinforce the team in some areas once we get to the premier league.”
Chilisa said this is the first time the team is promoted to the premier league during its 34 years of existence. Moreover, Chilisa said they have since parted ways with long time sponsors Sharps Electrical due to the company’s economic situation. Despite the team being linked with former long time Township Rollers head honcho Somerset Gobuiwang, Chilisa said the two were just friends.