The 2017/18 BTC Premiership season is scheduled to begin on 23 September following several delays mainly due to the newly introduced Club Licensing initiative. As supporters look forward to yet another premier league season with zeal and enthusiasm, one of the most intriguing elements around this time is the number of foreign players who have penned deals with several league clubs.
Of recent foreign players introduced to the domestic league have come short in the eyes of both local supporters and their respective teams. Most of the overhyped foreign legion has played at least a single season before returning home after unsuccessful or disastrous spells in the fiercely competitive premier league. Some of the names that have come through the league recently include former Gaborone United striker Makundika Sakala, former Notwane Striker Dillon Chivandire, Township Rollers former marksman Pape Abdoulaye Ndaw and former Mochudi Center Chiefs front man Stanley Ngala.
The endless list of foreign players who are supposed to add value to the local football league continues to grow but these overhyped foreigners have proved unrefined quality in one of the fastest growing leagues in Africa. However most of the blame for these unfortunate situations which comes at the expense of local players points to local club officials who seem to not put enough effort in scouting players.
During the last transfer window defending champions Township Rollers have been the busiest club. The MmaMasire lads have been linked to foreign players including Tshepho Matete, Ivan Ntenge, Mthokozisi Msomi and Percy More. The only big names in the list of foreigners at Popa is Tshepho Matete who joined the reigning champions during the early days of the transfer window. However the former Baroka FC player who is well known for his show boasting skills is unlikely to add nothing but a bit more flair to the star studded Popa side.
However he has been setting social media ablaze with his fancy footwork on the ball.
Nevertheless Matete has also gone under criticism with football radicals arguing that he will not add value to the MmaMasire based outfits. On the flipside, Ivan Ntenge seems to be of good quality also after the Ugandan midfielder featured for his country in the home and away matches against Egypt recently.
On the other hand BTC Premiership runners up and Mascom Top 8 defending champions Jwaneng Galaxy registered three familiar faces with Atisang Batsi returning for a second spell at the Jwaneng based club, the other two are Terrence Mandaza and Patrick Kaunda who both have tested the Premier league waters and have proven to be run-of-the-mill over the past years.
BDF IX have acquired the services of a foreign legion player whose abilities with the ball have never been uncovered in the local turf. Rashid Yosuph Mandawa-Mtiba a Tanzanian midfielder who was linked to Township Rollers has now settled with Matebele, the Tanzanian midfielder is a wrapped present to the local spectators and it remains mysterious if he will be productive in the crucial midfield position. Mgcini Sibanda has also penned a deal with Matebele as one of the tried and tested foreign players in the country.
Mohamed Ismail Mgunda a striker from Ruvu Shooting in Tanzania has joined Gilport Lions on a one year deal, with Takuzwa Ndoro joining in from Witbank Spurs and Joseph Miguel from Namibian based outfits Julinho Sporting ends the list of a few newly signed foreigners after penning a one year deal with Gilport Lions. All this players are expected to add worthy quality to our local football. A source closer to Gilport Lions has however alleged that most players were not scouted. “Only Mohamed Mgunda was scouted and can attest that he will be a revelation,” a source close to the matter said.
With the new premier season upon us only time will tell whether this season’s foreign legion will add quality to local football.