The Matjimenyenga stream to fill up ahead pf 2019/20 season, Club could have pre-season in Bulawayo
With just a little over a month before the 2019/20 BTC Premier League season starts, Tafic’s technical team is in a spirited search for new additions to their squad.
The club has advertised vacancies for a number of positions including that of the head coach.
The Francistown giants who won automatic promotion to the elite league would try by all means to avoid the 2017 disaster which saw the team relegate just one season after gaining promotion.
The Club Chairman, Carlos Sebina clearly had this at the back of his mind during an exclusive interview with Voice Sports on Wednesday morning.
Sebina said they are looking to bring in at least six new players in the next couple of weeks.
“We are in a need of a goalkeeper, a striker, defender and a midfielder or two,” Sebina said.
He said the current squad has premier league experience and would only need one arm two senior player in their return to top flight football.
The club is one of the few with lean number of foreign players.
Tafic only has, Samuel Phiri whose unsporting behaviour in the 2017 season was blamed for the team’s subsequent relegation.
The Zimbabwean was slapped with a long suspension by the Premier League Disciplinary Committee for slapping Township Rollers attacking midfielder Edwin Moalosi.
He was further suspended by the club and missed key matches in the team’s relegation battle.
Before his misdemeanours the talented defender was a rock for the Francistown club.
Sebina told Voice Sports that the club is also in the process of complying with the CAF Club Licensing regulations before the season starts.
“Negotiations over players contracts have begun. All our our players will be contracted, including our U19s,” he said.
The Chairman however said they are not going to commit to salaries they cannot afford to pay.
“It’ll be simple. We are going to have bonuses for wins and drawn matches. Our aim is to win all our home matches, so a home victory will attract a higher bonus while a draw away will also attract a bigger bonus,” explained Sebina.
On why the club has advertised the head coach position while they still have Elias Chinyembe, he said adverting post does not mean they are overhauling the club.
“Priority will be given to those currently in the team. We however are aware that some of our members are also looking for greener pastures. As much as we want new players, other clubs are also after our players,” he said.
“Chinyembe is still our head coach assisted by Lovemore Mokgweetsi and Wrist Mmusi as goalkeeper coach,” he said somewhat coyly.
Sebina further indicated that the club still does not have a key sponsor save for partners such as Lavik Consultancy who have bought space on the kit’s sleeve and Dlala who’ve come on board as technical sponsors for two years.
“We are currently negotiating with an insurance company to facilitate for our players and technical team to have a funeral and medical cover,” he said, adding that they are also working on partnering with a transport operator to take care of the players and supporters’ transportation needs.
“If we could have it our way, our supporters would not drive themselves to matches. We want to travel as team and be visible,” added Sebina.
Meanwhile Matjimenyenga held an Annual General Meeting this past Sunday where many resolutions were adopted.
According to Sebina, the AGM was more about introspection after the Executive committee’s 12 months in office.
“We agreed on a number of things and we all appreciated the revival of some branches like Masunga, Jwaneng, Kasane and Maun. Going forward all these branches will affiliate and pay a monthly subscription fee.”
Sebina further told Voice Sport that they will soon embark on a pre-season tour.
“Pre-season is about team building and if funds permit we may go to Bulawayo or anywhere outside Francistown,” he said.
The Reds or Matjimenyenga, a name derived from a small stream running behind Kgaphamadi and Maipaafela will certainly look to bounce back and cement their place as one of the country’s top clubs.
With experienced players such as Gobonyeone Selefa (Player of the Season and Player’s Player of the season award winner) and Uyapo Tibathuwe who walked away with the Most Disciplined Player and Supporters Player of the Season awards, the team may just survive relegation.
The Matjimenyenga stream which has experienced dry spells for some years may finally overflow, once again breathing life into a city starved of premier league football for far too long.