Lesego Galenalemotlhale and Thato Ogopotse during the beMobilepremier league match between Mochudi Center Chiefs and Gaborone United at the Molepolole Sports complex on 5 February 2016. MONIRUL BHUIYAN/Backpage pix
Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 11:00
Mochudi Centre Chiefs central midfielder Thato Ogopotse is looking forward to the 2017/18 Mascom Top 8 Cup.
The 29-year-old has had some good memories in this lucrative competition having won it during the 2013/14 season with Botswana Defence Force (BDF) XI.
Ogopotse, who is a Botswana international, played an important role in helping BDF XI stun Township Rollers in an enthralling final at the National Stadium.
He also played in this competition during his spell with Gaborone United. The box-to-box midfielder left two-time Top 8 Cup winners GU for Chiefs prior to the current season.
BotswanaPremierLeague.com caught up with the former Masitaoka FC midfield maestro ahead of Chiefs' quarter-final first-leg clash with the defending champions Jwaneng Galaxy on Friday.
How did you feel when you won the Mascom Top 8 in 2014?
(Smiles) Well, obviously, everyone enjoys that special feeling of being a champion. It felt great and I was overwhelmed with happiness because it was my first winners medal since turning professional.
In your view what makes this tournament special?
It is a very lucrative competition and it is played within a short period of time. You play less games compared to the league (BTC Premiership) and you end up winning a lot of money. Most importantly, the winners qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup where you get to test yourself against good African clubs.
What's the secret to winning the Mascom Top 8 Cup?
You win five matches and you are crowned champions. But it is not easy because you need to work very hard, be consistent and smart throughout the competition. Each game is different and you need to plan wisely and have a big heart.
In the last two editions, teams which were making their debut appearance in the tournament went on to win the trophy. Can Security Systems emulate Orapa United and Galaxy this season?
Yes, it is possible because they have a good squad. They can do well in this season's tournament.
What are your thoughts on your game against the defending champions, Galaxy?
Well, it is not going to be easy because it is a big Cup game. It's a completely different from a league game. We need to take our chances.
Do you think Chiefs have what it takes to win the Mascom Top 8 Cup for the first time this season?
Yes, we have a well balanced team with some experienced players. So, we can make history and I know that it will be a big challenge for us. But I believe in what we have here at Chiefs.
Good luck, Thato