BY GODFREY MOWANENG
BTC Premiership giants Township Rollers has called for support from the Botswana Premier League (BPL) as they prepare to conquer Africa in the 2018/19 CAF Champions league scheduled to kick start this month.
The reigning BTC Premiership champions have confirmed that they will compete in the upcoming continental competition with an elevated target to push for the quarter finals of the decorated continental club competition.
Due to the transitional calendar which allows the club competitions to switch from the February to November schedule to an August to May schedule, a decision was taken was taken by the CAF executive Committee to immediately start the campaign in November right after the 2018 season ends so as to conclude the campaign in May.
With the draws of the next edition of club competitions held this weekend in Rabat, Morocco, Rollers is set to contend in three competitions being the BTC premiership, Mascom Top 8 and the CAF champions’ league. However, the club is seeking for a balanced fixture programme that could suit them when they travel through Africa.
The club’s mouthpiece Bafana Pheto told Sunday Standard that the BPL should be aware that playing in African competitions marks a milestone for local football with the benefits set to shower the local game.
‘’We will engage the BPL as soon as we get the fixtures so that we are not overwhelmed by congestion of matches. We have a dream and have set targets for the new season of the CAF Champions league and our aim this season is to reach the quarter finals stage,” Pheto told Sunday Standard.
He said the players and club have gained experience in playing across Africa and confident to perform better in the upcoming season. ‘’The fact of the matter is that we had targeted to make it to the group stages and fortunately for us we managed to collect four points in a group that could have been tagged group of death. As it stands now two of the clubs that we were pitted against being Al Ahly and Esperance are playing in the final,” said Pheto.
Meanwhile, the preliminary round for the competitions is scheduled to be played on the weekend of 27-28 November2018 while the second leg slated for the 4th to 5th December. The first round of the competition is set to be played on the 14th to 16th December 2018 with the return leg scheduled for the 21st to 23rd December 2018 and the group stages matches commencing on the second week of January 2019.