Saturday, February 27, 2021

Back love for Nikola and Rollers … But Can It Last?

It is said there is a thin line between love and hate. For Township Rollers and coach Nikola Kavazovic, this rings all true.

Like couples in a romantic relationship, Rollers and Kavazovic parted ways just when their relationship was expected to blossom.

Whatever happened between the two lovebirds that forced the Serbian gaffer to walk out on Rollers still remains unknown.

According to sources, the Serbian coach shocked his players at Rollers when, after the game against Police XI, he informed them it was his last game.

Whether his departure was due to his roving eye being caught by the fleeting coquetry of the lucrative South African Premier Soccer League or as some proclaim, his fallout with Rollers financier Jagdish Shah, no one knows.

At the time of his departure, Kavazovic and Shah were allegedly not on talking terms with the latter feeling that the coach is difficult to control. 

And it seems Shah was not the only person having bad blood with Kavazovic. Rumour has it that the team management also felt he was too difficult to handle often clashing with players and undermining management. 

The media and the supporters as well had their fair-share of the Serbian gaffer’s abrasive attitude having numerous clashes with them. 

During their breakup, Kavazovic had short flings with AFC Leopards Sports Club in Kenya, Free State Stars in South Africa before being involved with Gaborone United and Jwaneng Galaxy here in Botswana.

In his absence, Rollers also had its own short love affairs, the most notable of which was with Scottish gaffer Frank Nuttall.

But both it seems, never really got over each other and felt miserable apart. Tempestuous as the love affair was, Rollers and Kavazovic had had an almost fulfilling affair.

With him on top, Rollers had won the Premier League title for two consecutive seasons, had clinched the Mascom Top 8 title and most importantly, had managed to make history by reaching the group stages of 2018 CAF Champions league.

Now, it seems both have come to the realisation that without each other, they were falling apart.  

On Thursday, Rollers announced to its supporters that the man they have a love hate relationship with had returned home.

“Township Rollers Football Club is immensely pleased to announce that Nikola Kavazovic has been re-appointed to the role of Head Coach for our team,” the club announced in its official Facebook page. 

According to a source close to Rollers, when the team announced a vacancy for a coach, the Serbian gaffer threw his name in the hat.

“After careful analysis, the management felt that as much as he had previously had  difficult relations with everyone, he however did a good job. He is a good coach,” the source explained.

The source said the two parties have since realised they did not sit down and understand each other when they first engaged.

From their time, the source said both have had a time to reflect and are now optimistic they can work together.

“It was not Shah’s decision but the decision of the entire Rollers board to re-appoint Kavazovic. The board believes both parties have learnt a lot in their time apart. The relationship between the coach and all is expected to be better this time around,” the source said.

Even with his good coaching skills, will things be different this time around? Will his behaviour and character change? What have they agreed on regarding his abrasive attitude? Answers can only be received once the league resumes.   

According to Kagiso Kgaogano, football analyst, he said Kavazovic knows and understands Township Rollers and his work with them has been remarkable.

Even though he might be a good coach, time will tell if his behaviour and attitude has changed. 

It remains to be seen if he will manage to work well with the players, management and even the media.  

Meanwhile, attempts to reach Rollers for comment proved futile as the team’s Public Relations Officer (PRO)’s mobile phone was out of reach.

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