Bobonong — They say patience is a virtue, but for Peace Makers, they needed a double dose if not gallons to take that invaluable step into First Division North (FDN) football.
Finally, the gold and green of Bobonong have managed to flip a page they have been stuck on since their formal registration in 1994, to author another chapter in the book of their history as ambitions for Premier League football are slowly creeping into thought.
The dust is yet to settle following Peace Makers’ promotion to the First Division North and its supporters are yet to acclimatise to the reality of their promotion into the stage they had long yearned for. The same is true for the file and rank of the team.
The talk of perennial failure and disappointment at playoffs has finally come to a screeching end. There is a language change; the diction and syntax associated with the team have finally been glamourised. It is now the language of future and hope, which has eluded the file and rank for years.
A team that was founded by police officers such as Rider Kgaogano and Sera Busang, then based in Bobonong, Peace Makers have now made peace with their debilitating past and are looking beyond the current chapter.
Though it had its fair share of rollercoaster rides, Peace Makers harbour an ambitious plan of playing Premier League football after three seasons of their stay at FDN. The first two seasons, the team will try finding their footing before challenging for championship, at least according to club chairman, Mompoloki Lanka.
Lanka, an ex-player, said the team will have to dig deeper to devise plans for the future, such as securing a sponsor, recruiting quality players to bolster the current squad and rallying supporters to intensify that which they have been offering the team at the lower division.
As he generously lauded supporters for their unwavering support, he also thanked former team sponsor Moeteledi Marumo of Mero Beef in Selebi Phikwe. Marumo, famed by the sobriquet Super, provided the team with transport, accommodation for players as well as paying players some monthly stipends, according to chairman Lanka.
Super is also acknowledged for recruiting quality and experienced players from Motlakase Power Dynamos, to boost the team that eventually took a second bite at the FDN cherry. The team was promoted in 2011/12 season and was condemned to oblivion in 2012/13 for failure to pay affiliate fees.
Consequently, Peace Makers started again at the third division in 2013/14 and was promoted to second division in 2014/15. In the 2016/17 season, Peace Makers were beaten to the top spot by Maphatshwa FC who promoted to FDN.
The following season, 2017/18, Peace Makers were unsuccessful at the playoffs again and as if it was not enough, the Bobonong outfit failed to promote in 2018/19.
Team chairperson revealed that the team would sweep the house off the second division dust and ways, in preparation for a challenging and demanding FDN. First, the team will hold an annual general meeting where some key decisions would be made.
To ditch the record of successive failures to FDN, Peace Makers looked to Boikago, Palapye and roped in Rebagamang Keimetswe, who successfully cracked the code in his first attempt.
A history maker, 43-year-old Keimetswe, who is dubbed Coach Santana, as he goes around dispensing his football knowhow, appeals for calm as the team enters its maiden FDN season.
“Every stage in football requires a change and therefore, I appeal to supporters especially, to bear with management as it seeks to carve the right path for the team,” said Coach Santana.
He explained that the changes could see some players shipping out, coaching staff changed and some in the management shown the door.To match seasoned FDN campaigners, the coach opined that it was entirely up to management to ready the team for a chapter that would see them travelling to as far as Maun about four times.
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Greenhorn in second tier football, Peace Makers boasts five players who played in the Premier League. Three of the players the 2017/18 season.
Not so bothered by his preliminary coaching licence, the highest he possesses, Coach Santana believes he is revved up for the FDN challenge and so are his boys. At Peace Makers, Keimetswe was roped in as an assistant coach in October 2019 before being elevated, following the sacking of the then head coach.
As head coach, he has played and won 15 and drew two league games, while at the playoffs, he won two and drew one, scoring eight goals against the two he conceded.
Before then he helped promote Palapye United at the 2007/08 playoff in Selebi Phikwe.
Source : BOPA