Before the current season started, giants Township Rollers went on a shopping spree and bought players who were the envy of other teams. When the league finally started, all was not smooth sailing at the team and results hardly came. Despite always outplaying their opponents, Rollers lost many games they could have easily won with wider margins. They missed chances that could have even been scored by school boys.
Since Rollers are facing the prospect of not even finishing in the top eight and with a new season looming, many Rollers supporters are asking themselves about the plans for the new season.
Information reaching The Sunday Standard is that many big names might not be with the team when the next season starts. The team is reported to be on an overhaul mission to avoid similar embarrassment next season.
The spokesman for the team, Molathegi Mangole, confirmed to Sunday Standard that Township Rollers would be a force to reckon with next season. He said that it would obviously come with changes in the team.
“As the management, we have not really discussed our budget for next season, but since it is around the corner, I hope we will do so sooner. Next year, we will be untouchable and obviously there are going to be massive changes in the team. We are, however, still waiting for the annual technical report of the team and will take it from there,” he said.
Mangole would not want to be drawn into discussions on the players likely to be offloaded but said it does not make business sense to keep players who do not command a regular place while being paid at the end of the month. Mangole also added that Rollers are also eyeing certain players for next season. He also did not want to mention their names, saying that would destabilise the team but he stressed that they are good players.
Due to the fact that the team bought many good players last season only to falter, Mangole said they would be strategic in their signings this time around.
“We will be very strategic this season since we have a new coach who now knows our local players. Even back home in Zambia, he might help us find some good players. I can’t really say which players we are currently eyeing because that could sow seeds of discontent in the team,” he said.
Mangole stressed that their goalkeeping department needs to be strengthened. He said it is only Goitseone Morake and Lesego Moeng who are active while Barolong Lemmenyane is still struggling with car accident injuries.
Some of the players that Rollers signed and who are yet to deliver are Zambian striker, Bernard Simakwenzi. Since joining Rollers from BDF XI, Simakwenzi has not found the back of the net as he did at his former team. In the field of play he is excellent and his diagonal runs are good but he struggles to score.
Even Jomo Moatlhaping, who rejoined the team from South African side, Platinum Stars, is yet to re-discover the form that exported him to South Africa.
On the players that are likely to make grade outside the country, Mangole said nothing is yet concrete. He said they are hearing reports but nobody had formally approached them. He, however, would not rule out the possibility of Rollers players going abroad saying they are currently the only team in the country capable of doing so.
“Rollers are a big team because the most expensive player in the local league is from Rollers and he happens to be Sekhana Koko now at Mochudi Centre Chiefs. It would not be surprising if some of our players go outside the country,” he said.
A player who is touted would make the grade in South Africa is none other that skillful and pacey Joel Mogorosi. He caught the eye of three South African teams: Bloemfontein Celtic, Platinum Stars and Moroka Swallows, during the friendly games last year.
Rumours are flying thick and fast that other South African big teams are keeping a close eye on him.