Saturday, July 20, 2024

Madinda to lead Rollers to the Promised Land?

Township Rollers’ head coach Madinda Ndlovu is reported to have been given an ultimatum to deliver the league title back to Mapalastina or ship out. Ndlovu returns to Rollers with an impressive CV having won back-to-back League titles with rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs. He is without doubt the most successful head coach in recent times.

Madinda arrives at the club with his right-hand man, Zachariah Muzadzi, and expectations are that he should deliver. Rollers last won the title in 2010 and since then their supporters have watched in frustration as Chiefs dominated the local scene.

The arrival of Madinda has given Rollers’ fans hope considering what he has achieved. But the Kabelano Charity Cup semi-final’s 2-1 loss to Extension Gunners raised some panic buttons amongst their hard-to-please supporters. Their argument was that Rollers spent their pre-season training at the magnificent Royal Bafokeng Campus in South Africa and they should have easily swept aside Gunners.

For the better part of the second half, Madinda, who was wearing a smart white shirt and black trousers, remained rooted to the bench despite his team trailing. In his post-match interview, Madinda told the national television that they struggled because his boys’ muscles were still heavy from their training camp. But he did not show any signs of concern saying that they will be up to the challenge when the league kicks off. In the past, Madinda has always come tops even under severe pressure.

It is his ability to remain calm even under unbearable conditions which has made him one of the best mentors in Botswana football. Ever since arriving at Rollers, Madinda has avoided the media interviews, something which those close to him argue has worked to his advantage.

Rollers’ managing director, Somerset Gobuiwang, was clearly a worried man throughout their game against Gunners. He watched in disbelief as his side huffed and puffed despite signing about 13 players prior to the weekend’s spectacle. As the man accountable to the supporters when things go wrong, Gobuiwang is said to have made it clear to his new Zimbabwean gaffer that they are expecting more than the below-par show displayed at the Lobatse Stadium last weekend.

When contacted for comment Gobuiwang said though they were disappointed by the outcome of their game against Gunners, it has helped them to pick some of the areas in which they are lacking before the window closed. “We have picked that we need to sign another striker because we can’t go all season with Floh (Kenanao Kgatholetsile). We’re running around to sign an international striker before the transfer window closes this afternoon,” said Gobuiwang on Friday afternoon, a few hours before the transfer period closed.

Gobuiwang believes that they have brought players on board who can compete with the likes of Chiefs, Gaborone United and BDF XI in the coming season. He said it is up to the technical team to deliver titles to the Rollers’ cabinet.

“We would have liked to see the league kicking off this weekend as was planned but the postponement will accord the technical team a chance to work on the final touches,” he concluded.


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