Township Rollers are looking forward to adding another record to the many they already hold when they take on Young Africans of Tanzania in the first leg of the CAF Champions League first round stage this coming Tuesday.
Buoyed by their gallant display in front of a hostile support at Sudanese club Al Merrikh’s Red Castle fortress, ‘Popa’ will head off to Tanzania confident they can once again withstand another intimidating reception from Tanzania’s most successful club.
According to Rollers Public Relations Officer, Bafana Pheto, playing Al Merriekh and winning against them was a solid build up of confidence for the boys. As they prepare to face the Young Africans, Pheto said they plan on invoking the same fighting spirit as they displayed in Sudan to push themselves forward in the competition.
“Talking to the boys is all that we can do to ensure that they are mentally and physically ready. We cannot change the situation we find ourselves in having to play two major games two weeks in a row,” said Pheto.
He further noted that the game between them and ‘Yanga’ means a lot, as winning it will ensure ‘Popa’ proceeds to group stages. While confident they have a shot at achieving the unthinkable, Popa will go into the match wary of what their opponents are capable of.
Just like Rollers in Botswana, the Young Africans is one of the two biggest football clubs in Tanzania and is the only team representing Tanzania in this tournament. However, ‘Yanga’ is much better experienced in the continental competitions than Rollers, having made at least 22 appearances in the CAF Champions’ League, including in its previous format as the African Cup of Champions Clubs.
According to Pheto, hopefully it will not be much of a problem facing ‘Yanga’ as compared to Al Merriekh. Speaking in an interview, Pheto, noted that the boys are nothing without their supporters; adding that they need them now more than they have ever did as they are their backbone and strength.
“The team is in great need of its supporters more than anything else, we plead with them and the rest of the nation to back us up,” he said. The Rollers PRO appealed to football supporters in the country to rally behind the team in both encounters with Young Africans.
In return, Pheto said ‘Popa’ will be aiming to hoist high the flag of Botswana and make the country and its legions of supporters proud. The return leg of the encounter will be hosted at the National Stadium in Gaborone on the 17th of this month (March).