Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Mother of all derbies: Township Rollers vs Gaborone United

All around the world, there are club football matches which, when played, almost the whole country stands still, including people who do not support football.

Such kinds of matches are either in the form of derbies or rivalries. In neighbouring South Africa, it is normally between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

In Spain, it is Barcelona and Real Madrid, while in Italy, it is normally Juventus and AC Milan.
In Egypt, it is normally between Al Ahly and Zamalek.

In Botswana such kind of a game is normally between the defending champions, Township Rollers and Gaborone United.

Both teams will lock horns in a fierce battle on Sunday in a league encounter and it will indeed revive the old memories of both teams since the early eighties.
The rivalry of the two teams was intense from the early 90s to the late nineties but started again on high tempo since the past five years.

In the 90s Township Rollers boasted of a strong squad that consisted of among others, Moshoeshoe Molelekwa, Thabo Motang, Mmoni Segopolo, Desmond Molefhe and Joseph Chikoti.
GU, on the other hand, had greats like Gofhamodimo ‘City’ Senne, Rapelang ‘Razor’ Tsatilebe, Mandla Balandla and Patrick Zibotchwa.

All those players are gone and it is now the new blood that is sweating it out.

The recognisable yester year face at Rollers is former goalkeeper Motang who is now the coach for goalkeepers. During his days Motang was the first choice of the national team.

Rollers goalkeeping department is very strong, mainly because of his expertise.

First choice goalkeeper of Rollers, Kabelo Dambe, is so far the first choice at the national Under 23 and might replace the ageing Modiri Marumo in the senior team.

Rollers are currently riding on a crest of a wave as they are on top of the league and will do all they can to defend their league title.

They want back to back titles, which has not been achieved by any team in so many years in the country.

Surprisingly, Rollers wingers are the ones who normally score while their strikers fire blanks most of the time.

The players who are currently in red hot form are Joel Mogorosi and Sekhana Koko.
GU, on the other hand, won the inaugural be-MOBILE Premier League title two seasons ago and want to win it twice in three years.

Currently, as the league stands, only eight points separate the two teams but GU have a match in hand.

This means a victory by one of the two teams will be a bitter pill for the other to swallow.
GU, however, have so many enterprising youngsters who are giving other teams headaches. The prominent ones are Ofentse Nato and Ntesang Simanyana.

Nato doubles up for the junior teams and even the senior national team.
The game is scheduled to be played at UB stadium in the afternoon.
On the other hand Extension Gunners will play greenhorns, Black Peril, today (Wednesday) at Lobatse Stadium in the evening.

Other weekend fixtures:
Saturday
Mochudi Centre Chiefs vs Miscellaneous (Molepopole)
BDF XI vs Ecco City Green (SSKB)
Nico vs Uniao Flamengo Santos (Selibe Phikwe)
Tafic vs Police (Francistown)
Sunday
Motlakase vs Tasc (Selibe Phikwe)
BMC vs Notwane (Lobatse)

All Matches start at 3 pm

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper