Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rollers searching for a West African coach

Following the unceremonious departure of their head coach, Township Rollers are now reported heading to West Africa to look for a credible coach. According to the reliable sources, the team believes that West Africa is where they can find a quality coach who can revive the team?s fortunes and make it a force to reckon with. The team is also reported not to be considering Southern African coaches because teams in the region play more or less the same pattern of football and Rollers are looking for something different.

?Rollers are a big team and are looking for a credible coach who can take the team where it deserves. They want someone who cannot only excel locally but also internationally. Their former head coach, Madinda Ndlovu helped the team to reach the late stages of the African Club competitions so they want the team to go further. They believe West African coaches are experienced enough in African competitions because their teams dominate the continental championships.

Somerset Gobuiwang, Rollers? Managing Director did not want to confirm or deny that they are looking for a West African coach. He, however, made it clear that they want a reputable coach who can revive the fortunes of the team. He said Rollers is a big brand and someone who can match it must be brought in. Gobuiwang also did not want to comment on whether they are talking to University of Botswana lecturer, Dr Oche Onyewadume, who once had a short stint with them in the late nineties. Onyewadume then transformed Rollers and turned ordinary players like Phenyo Ditsile into match makers.

?What I can tell you is that we are looking for a coach who has a proven track record,? said Gobuiwang. ?I cannot say from which region of Africa, but we are looking for someone who can not only fill a void left by Ndlovu but who can also bring something on the table. Rollers are a big team that needs a big coach.?

In regard to Nare, who was earlier on reported to be holding the fort at the team, Gobuiwang said, currently, Nare is the co-coach with Oupa Kowa; but once the new coach arrives, Nare will be the assistant coach.

Nare left Chiefs at a time when he had just made a name for himself because the team stands a chance of winning their first ever Premier League medal. At one stage, Chiefs exchanged the log leadership with Ecco City Green. Nare also once had a spell with BMC, where the team did well under his tutelage. Nare is credited with transforming the current crop of BMC players that is taking the Premier League by storm. He, himself, also once played for the Zebras.

Gobuiwang said Kowa, who was Ndlovu?s assistant, will be re-deployed to the development side. He said Kowa was just whisked from the development side because the team was in dire need of an assistant.

On why they terminated, Ndlovu?s contract before time, Gobuiwang stressed that results were not coming. He added that they parted ways with Ndlovu amicably and there are no hard feelings between them. He also thanked Ndlovu for transforming the team?s play, saying it is second to none in the country.

Rollers showed incumbent Notwane coach the door last year but after he lifted the team from the doldrums. The team was just returning from the First Division and made history by winning both the league and the lucrative Coca-Cola Cup. With such achievements in Panene?s hands, Rollers were not convinced enough to keep him and his contract was eventually terminated. Before winning the league and the Coca-Cola Cup, Rollers had a dry spell of ten years. Last year they failed to defend both the league and the Coca Cola Cup. They were, however, on their way to winning the Coco-Cola trophy but found themselves out following a dispute over a BDF XI striker, Bernard Simakwenzi. Rollers alleged that he was informally registered and was ordered to stay out of the semi-final clash, which Rollers won 3-0. A replay was ordered but Rollers refused to play and BDF XI were given a passage to the finals where they lost 2-1 to Notwane.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.