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Assault on Africa

NO PLACE TO SIT: Coach Radipotsane giving players instructions

Galaxy raring to go despite confusion over Coach

Thanks to their 2019/20 domestic success, in which they were handed the Premier League title with ten games still left to play, Jwaneng Galaxy will once again carry the nation’s hopes into continental battle.

Although they are heavy favourites to progress, the mining giant’s go into Saturday’s CAF Champions League qualifier with Central African Republic champions, DFC 8eme Arrondissement without a Head Coach.

Indeed, Galaxy’s players will have to look within for guidance as the club has been told Caretaker Coach, Boyo Radipotsane does not possess the relevant qualifications (CAF B licence) now required for a seat on the bench!

Bizarrely, Galaxy were only made aware of this on Wednesday in a letter sent to them from the Botswana Football Association (BFA) dated 9 September – which of course was Thursday!

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The bombshell was all the more unexpected considering Radipotsane took charge of the side in their last African outing, a 4-0 CAF Confederations double-header defeat to Orlando Pirates back in February.

According to the BFA’s communication, the former Zebras interim coach is allowed to conduct training sessions and media interviews but is not permitted on the sidelines during match day.

Whilst Radipotsane’s absence is undoubtedly an inconvenience, and it should not be forgotten Galaxy are part of a domestic league that has been ‘out of order’ since March 2020, the local lads should have more than enough in the tank to see off DFC8.

At this stage last year, the Jwaneng outfit breezed past Comoros minnows US Zilimadjou 5-1, all but securing their place in the first round proper courtesy of a dominant ‘home’ performance, winning 4-0 in Lobatse.

Another comprehensive victory on Botswana soil – Saturday’s 3pm clash will be played at the National Stadium – will go a long way to settling any nerves the fans might have over match fitness.

The second leg is scheduled for Friday 17 September, and will be played in Cameroon due to the political arrest and on-going civil war in Central African Republic.

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Should Galaxy progress, they will face a much tougher test as Tanzanian powerhouse, Simba wait in the wings.

By then (the potential Simba clash is set for the middle of October) the reigning Botswana champs are confident they will have solved their Head Coach issues.

Indeed, in a brief interview with Voice Sport, Galaxy Public Relations Officer (PRO) Tankiso Morake revealed they are ‘working round the clock’ and could even unveil a new coach as early as Friday.

For his part, club captain, Thabo Leinanyane confidently declared that preparations had gone well, with the team setting their sights on qualifying for the group stages.

Township Rollers remain the only local side to make it that far, achieving the historic feat under Nikola Kavazovic back in 2018.

Last time round, Galaxy were denied a similar date with destiny, downed 5-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns.

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Leinanyane, 28, is adamant they will not be stopped this time.

The right back maintained fitness will not be a problem, with the squad having played a number of practice matches, including a recent outing against Kaizer Chiefs.

“Though we lost 1-0 against the CAF finalists, we played well and followed the coach’s instructions.”

Leinyane admitted playing against the Bangui-based DFC8 will be a battle with the unknown.

“We know nothing about our opponents from Central African Republic which can be good and at the same time bad for us. We know it is not going to be a walk in the park so we are prepared for anything,” declared the defender, adding apart from striker Gift Moyo, who picked up a knock against Orapa in a recent friendly, the club have no injury worries.

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