Friday, March 1, 2024

Rollers feeling no pressure with sights set on quarter finals

Township Rollers Public Relations Officer (PRO) Bafana Pheto says the team could not have been happier with the group they have been placed in for the CAF Champions’ League Group stages.

In what was an historic night for local football, Rollers were this past Wednesday placed on Group A for their next round of CAF duties. ‘Popa’ have been selected to play alongside Al- Ahly of Egypt, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) of Uganda and Esperance de tunis (E.S.T) of Tunisia.

Speaking in an interview, Pheto said Rollers will go into the games with no burden of high expectation and no pressure. “Popa is new in this stage and level and our vision was only to be in the group stages. As for our opponents’, they have been here before and for them there is so much expectation unlike us,” he noted.

He however noted that despite going into the group stages as underdogs with not many expectations, people should not yet rule them out as they might end up reaching the quarter finals. With nothing to lose, Pheto said they believe anything is possible and they are going to fight with everything they have to make it to the next round.

“We are going to use this to our greatest advantage and we are going to fight with all that we have, we are here now and anything beyond the group stages is extra,” Pheto said. For his part, team captain Maano Ditshupo noted that they consider themselves as underdogs and they do not have any pressure with being in such a group with well known teams.

He however said that being in the group stages, they have now set their eyes on reaching the quarter finals. “We are going to play as we have been playing in the preliminaries and now that we got to the group stages we want to be in the quarter finals,” said Ditshupo.

Both Pheto and Ditshupo noted that wherever their CAF journey may end, they will be happy as this is about the team gaining continental experience. “Being here is not only for an opportunity for the boys but also for Botswana Football, the exposure the boys are getting from other teams is remarkable” Pheto said.

Meanwhile, Rollers will be expected to start their Group stage journey at home on the 4th of May when they host KCCA.

Thereafter, they will take a journey to Tunisia to visit Esperance on May 15 before concluding their first round of games with a visit to Egyptian giants Al Ahly on July 17.

The second round of the group stages will start with Popa hosting Al Ahly here at home on July 27 before they fly out to visit Kampala City in Uganda on August 17.

The local boys will then host Esperance on August 28 to close what is expected would have been a riveting journey.


Read this week's paper