Gilport in lion’s den

16th April 2018
THIN ICE: Lions in relegation zone Source:The Midweek Sun

BTC Premiership minnows Gilport Lions are on the brink of relegating to the dusty fields of the National First Division. With only eight games left for the team before the end of the 2017/18 season, Gilport are currently languishing at the bottom of the BTC Premiership log standings with a measly eight points. On paper, there is still hope that the Lions can still survive the dreaded relegation axe, however the odds are increasingly being stacked against them. In their last five matches, they lost all four of their games and drew against TAFIC Sporting Club.

Undoubtedly, the Lions have had an unpleasant season thus far. It is unlikely that the turn out of events come as a surprise to most football supporters. This Saturday the weeping Lions are expected to lock horns with the fellow relegation candidates Security Systems in Molepolole. Coming into the game, both teams will need their best if they are to survive relegation. Systems are also fighting for survival in the elite league with only 24 points in position 14 of the log standings. It is a tough call to make given the fact that both teams are desperate for maximum points and anything can happen on the day.

During their last encounter, Systems defeated Lions 2-0. Still on that, Systems are expected to come into the game a revamped lot following the recent appointment of Chico Nare as the team head coach. Nare’s immediate task at Systems is to survive relegation and the weekend game will see him try to turn his team’s fortunes around. Nevertheless, Lions Coach Mandivenga Paradzayi remains hopeful that it is not yet over until the final whistle. Speaking after their 3-2 defeat to Mochudi Centre Chiefs recently, Paradzayi said things are not looking good for his charges but they do not intend to give up. Paradzayi said he is playing with young players and it is not easy to motivate them given the challenges facing the team.

For his part, Lions chairman Kelesitse Gilika confirmed the team’s financial difficulties while they are trying to keep the team together. The outspoken chairman said it has not been an easy road for him and his team. However, they are already halfway to servicing their debts. Gilika said there is still hope in the team and like most of their rivals struggling with finances, they too will find a solution to their financial headaches. In their last games, the Lions are expected to face BDF XI, Police XI, Extension Gunners, Gaborone United and Jwaneng Galaxy among others. Meanwhile another team still hoping to escape the hot seat are Uniao Flamengo Santos 16 points.

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