Monday, September 21, 2020

Rollers camp resembling casualty ward

Township Rollers have, for the past three seasons, fired blanks as they failed to win even a single major title.

This season, the team built a formidably strong team with the ambition to win something that would appease their hard to please supporters.
But of their four games so far this season, Rollers have only won two and lost two. They won against archrivals, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Naughty Boys, and lost to another city rival, Gaborone United (GU), and to Naughty Boys.

In almost all the four games that Rollers played, a spate of injuries rocked them. Most affected were their key players who form the backbone of the team.

It all started against arch rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs when midfield anchor, Lesego Molemogi, was forced to leave the game early and had to miss two games.

While the team was reeling from Molemogi’s injury, first choice goalkeeper, Anthony Matengu, joined the injury list against GU when he had to be taken to the hospital.

By the time Matengu left, both teams were level at two goals apiece and moments later, after substitute Goitseone Morake came on, GU scored their winning goal via Kebatlogetse ‘Go man’ Batsweletse.

In their last game against army side BDF XI, Rollers sustained two injuries to winger Edwin Olerile and defender Khomari Mothuba.
Olerile’s injury is reported to be the more serious and it might take some time for him to return to full fitness.

Already, two key players, Somalian international Mohammed Chawila and Zambian Bernard Simakwenzi are always in and out of the team due to injuries. The injuries that have been plaguing the team have led to many Rollers supporters worrying. Some believe that certain teams are out to destroy Rollers even to the extent of employing rough play.
Some Rollers supporters say that what is surprising is the fact that the rough play culprits are rarely punished.

Rollers Managing Director, Somereset Gobuiwang, also expressed concern at the spate of injuries afflicting his team. He cited the game against BDF XI who he said were always applying rough play on his players. He expressed concern that the players who committed the offences are national team players.

“Imagine so-called national team players inflicting such kind of injuries on other players. What kind of message are they sending to aspiring players? Most of the tackles they committed were amateurish and I could not believe how slow the referee reacted,” Gobuiwang said.

Gobuiwang did not want to comment whether some teams are out to destroy his team with unsportsmanlike behavior, saying it is up to the referees to protect the players.

He vowed, however, that regardless of the circumstances surrounding the team, Rollers would continue to fight hard throughout the season.
This season, Rollers have assembled a deadly arsenal that looks set to terrorise other teams, provided the coach finds a winning combination.
The team has a lot of fire power upfront, where there are the likes of Simakwenzi, Terrence Mandaza, Chawila and Thapelo Balepi.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.