Prisons XI returns to the top flight

Prisons XI have joined Notwane FC and BR Highlanders to gain promotion from the Debswana National First Division to the BTC Premiership.

Prisons who have been playing in the First Division South since being  relegated in 2012, have been promoted to the elite league through the away goal rule after playing to a 2 all draw on aggregate, to Sua Flamingoes in promotional playoffs which are traditionally emotionally grueling.  They defeated Sua 2-1 in a first leg which was played at Sua grounds a fortnight ago before losing 1-0 to Sua over the weekend in a clash which took part at SSG grounds. The only goal of the game was scored by Monametsi Tsapoga.

In an interview after the encounter, Prisons coach Philimon Makwengwe said he was delighted that his team gained promotion after years of trying. “I’m happy for the team, not so much for myself. I’m happy for them in the fact they are a marginalized team which has no resources as many people think and they have finally been promoted as it’s been a while since they were relegated,” he said.

Even though they gained promotion, Makwengwe noted that he was not impressed with the way his charges played over the weekend. “We didn’t play our normal game, I mean our intention was to contain their wingers of which we didn’t achieve,” he said. “We gave them too much room to play and we didn’t contain them the way we did in the first leg. Sua played a very beautiful game today as compared the one they played in their own backyard.”

Makwengwe who is also the former Botswana Football Association senior technical officer noted that he had a depressing season in the first division.  “It was hectic, tiring and very frustrating. I think I’m the most depressed coach as compared to those who have relegated in the sense that I was not satisfied about a lot of things,” he pointed out. “The match officials had an attitude towards us and some of the players we got from the second division were slow to learn so it was frustrating for me and I believe I really need a rest.”

He is uncertain of his future with Prisons. “My contract ends towards the end of June and the management hasn’t approached me as yet so I cannot confirm if I will be with the team in the next season. I’m not sure because according to labour laws, they should have approached me three months prior to expiry of the contract.”  He intends to keep the bulk of the players provided he continues with the team, saying “they are very young good players.”

On the other hand, Sua coach Dominic Changwe is looking to the next season for redemption. “We lost this game in the first leg when we conceded two goals. They have advanced yes but I think we were the better team; we had a lot of chances but failed to convert.  We planned very well as this team couldn’t play its normal game. We will go back to the drawing board and prepare for the next season.”