Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Can Rollers break the jinx and defend their league title?

It has definitely proven to be difficult for any Premier League champions to defend their title.
Teams that win it the previous season, normally finish either in the mid-table or just close to the top four.

The only team that nearly came close to defending their title was Mochudi Centre Chiefs, two seasons ago. Chiefs failed to defend their title in the last match against eventual champions, Gaborone United (GU.

Despite trailing GU for most part of the season, Chiefs fought to the last match and needed an outright victory.

GU would follow suit when they also failed to defend the title as Rollers proved unstoppable throughout the season.

Rollers are the current defending champions and, in addition, were leading the pack before the weekend’s matches.

What is interesting is that when Rollers drop points, teams that are behind them also do the same, meaning that if they cannot lose focus along the way, they might become the first team in a very long time to defend the title.

From 13 of the league matches they had played, they have only lost once to Police XI last week and drew twice.

Rollers boosts of the most experienced squad in the Premier League and the coach tends to be spoilt for choice when choosing his first XI.

But coach Wesly Mondo has always stuck to his winning squad and that helps the team in the second round when the going gets tougher.

On the other hand, veteran coach, Clever Hunda, told Sunday Standard that Rollers have great chances of defending the league title.

“From what I have seen so far, Rollers have the best team in the Premier League and if they can stay focused, they will successfully defend their league title. Anything is possible in football but honestly speaking, Rollers have a 75 percent chance to defend their league title. You can even look at the way they always play, they play like hungry lions,” said the man who also coaches Police XI.

Hunda also added that most of the teams have in the past failed to defend the league titles because of a variety of factors. He said the most fundamental blunder teams make is the changing and chopping of coaches despite the positive results they bring.

“If you bring in a new coach at the club obviously he will bring his own philosophy and style of play and hence changes. Existing players would have to get used to his style of play and that takes time. By the time the changes are effected, results will be affected and that is what most teams in Botswana are doing from time to time. Teams here lack continuity, something that is very important in football,” he said.

Hunda added that the continuous changes in the technical department of teams are also a result of changes in the teams’ administrations.

“How do you expect positive results if executive committees of teams are changed every year? This is the sad reality of Botswana football but it looks as if we are always turning a blind eye to that,” he said.


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