Extension Gunners supporters will hope their performances on the pitch will match their stylish new playing kit after the club agreed a P1.2 million-sponsorship deal with leading clothing label All Kasi.
The local clothing manufacturer from Tsa Gae has agreed to sponsor the 2011 Coca Cola Champions for the next two years.
The popular brand whose relationship with Botswana Football Association reached an all time low after the return of the national team from AFCON 2012 in Gabon, decided to come back to the sport and Lobatse based Gunners were the obvious choice.
Gunners who are currently in third position in the be Mobile Premier League will receive four home and away kits annually.
The players will also get a clothing list that includes two alternative kits, four tracksuits each year, five training kits, two pairs of trainers and a voucher for players to buy their preferred soccer boots. All this will add up to P275 000 a year.
Speaking at the sponsorship launch on Wednesday Tsa Gae Managing Director Ludo Kemoen who is also a staunch Gunners supporter said after some introspection they decided to partner with football again.
“Gunners were the logical choice, after all charity begins at home,” said Kemoen.
He said the popularity and the fact that there was a need at the club also influenced their decision to partner with the Peleng side.
“Gunners is the oldest team in the country, they are 50 years old and have a large following. We are also going to give the team a P25 000 monthly grant of which P5000 will go to the development side,” he said.
This will take the figure to P300 000 and the same amount will be used on sponsorship administration to reach an annual figure of P600 000.
However Kemoen was quick to point out that the first thing they need from the team is an overall improved performance.
“The whole team should start acting like champions; it should show even at the training ground,” he said.
Meanwhile Gunners takes on Notwane this Friday evening at Molepolole Sports Complex. They could move up to the second spot should they win and Gaborone United lose to log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Both GU and Chiefs are joint leaders with 13 points, with the latter on top due to a superior goal difference.
Gunners mentor China Matlhaku said he is targeting a top six finish this season with at least 50 points. Last year the team finished ninth with a paltry 38 points.
“One thing I realized when I got here was that they did not have a problem with creating chances or scoring goals, they have skilful players; however my only worry was that they conceded goals and usually during the last 15 minutes of the match. That was something I had to sort out immediately,” said Mathaku.
Mathaku who has given Gunners their best start in years said he is targeting at least 29 points in the first round and a possible 21 in the second which he believes will be enough to secure a top six finish.
Club Chairman William Maboane was more optimistic about his side’s prospects. While his coach was a little reserved, avoiding at all costs raising fans expectations, Maboane was in a buoyant mood.
“This is exactly the motivation we needed ahead of the Friday clash against Notwane. It is a giant step in trying to improve the welfare of players. I’m convinced that we are going to trample Notwane on Friday,” he said.
Kick-off is 19:30hrs