For any team, qualification into the group stages of the CAF Champions league can come as a double edged sword. On one hand, it boosts the team’s profile, pushing it into the box of Africa’s elite. On the other hand is the risk of losing the key cogs of the team, be it players or the technical team.
And Township Rollers will definitely be no exception. Well before the team had finished off with Young Africans, a sense of elation and apprehension was already palpable. The question that is buzzing is ‘Can Rollers manage to fend off interest of the continent’s big guns on its key staff and players?’
Post the goalless draw against Young Africans, Rollers coach Nikola Kavazovic confirmed some teams in the continent had expressed interest in his services. “Yes, offers have come my way but I cannot disclose any information on it, if money is good I will stay or either leave,” he said.
Whether this was a bluff by the Rollers coach in order to negotiate his own salary hike or is genuine is yet to be tested, but Rollers may have to live with the uncertainty of how long they will keep their gaffer.
“It is not fair as club president to talk about these aspects. I do not want to pre-empt anything,” Rollers president Jagdish Shah said when asked to comment.
With Rollers hierarchy, including president reluctant to shed light on the rumours, club supporters may rightly feel apprehensive of the future of their coach.
Commenting on Kavazovic’s future, sports analyst Jimmy George had this to say, “He is a breath of fresh air for the team and what he has done might bring pressure on the team management to keep him.”
He said should Rollers not start contract negotiations with their gaffer, they might find themselves having to find yet another coach and will be under pressure to find a far much better coach than him.
George noted that it will not be a bad thing for Kavazovic to go where the money is because he has done a great job with ‘Mapalastina.’ He went on to state that the greatest achievement was building a team in his own image, playing with a different identity to Rollers of the past.
“When and wherever he goes, it does not matter that much. But one thing that he did is he managed to change the game play ‘Popa’ has been playing and they do not play like any other team in the country,” George noted.
While acknowledging that Kavazovic might be the highest paid coach in Botswana, George opined that Popa will have a difficult task of keeping him should big clubs come calling. Should that happen, he said the team will have a hard task finding a far better coach than Kavazovic to take the team beyond what it has achieved now.