“We are not the only team suffering, it is currently happening in several major leagues around the world. Currently, in South Africa, two big teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs never have it easy against so called smaller teams and they are also at the bottom of the league. In Spain, Madrid suffered for many years with many star players before eventually winning the league title last season. The same thing is happening with our team; currently and I am optimistic things will turn for the better soon,” said one supporter of Township Rollers after being held to a two-all draw by archrivals, Notwane, at the National Stadium on Thursday.
That two all draw has once again cast a dark cloud over the team. Since the league started, Township Rollers have been a shadow of themselves despite the big names that are the envy of every team. Many Rollers supporters are even asking themselves many questions as to exactly what could be the problem with the team that also commands popular support and, in addition, has lucrative sponsorship from Orange Botswana.
The results have also meant that the team has gone for five games without a single victory but only two draws and three losses. The Blues, as their supporters dub them, are now second from the bottom of the log with only two points. Before the game, supporters thought that Rollers would register their first victory of the season, but it was not to be as Notwane fought like wounded lions to the very end. Keoagetse ‘Barnes’ Radipotsane scored both goals for Notwane while Sekhana Koko and Bernard Simakwenzi scored for Rollers.
What many people are asking themselves about Rollers is why results are not coming, saying the team plays good carpet football. Last week, after losing to Francistown side, Tasc, some Rollers supporters even went to the extent of alleging that some of the former executive members of the team are bewitching the team. One of the officials had to be restrained because supporters were baying for his blood.
In football, luck also somehow counts.
Luck seems to be eluding Rollers where it matters the most. The game that many people saw as a fair loss to the team was the league opener against Mochudi Centre Chiefs which Rollers lost by three goals without reply. Some of the games Rollers drew and lost were just that lady luck was not on their side. Starting with their two-all drawn game against rookies, Boteti Young Fighters in Orapa, Rollers deserved a victory had it not been for the dubious officiating of the referees. Rollers scored two goals first only to let Boteti come back with less than fifteen minutes left.
Against entertainers, Uniao Flamengo Santos, Rollers at least deserved a one-all draw only to let Santos score the winning goal deep into injury time. The game that still rings in the minds of the Rollers supporters was against the struggling Tasc which the latter won by a solitary goal. Rollers controlled the game from the onset to the very last minute. Rollers strikers were to blame for missing many opportunities but in some instances luck deserted them as their attempts at goal were thwarted by goalposts. Tasc scored one of the easiest goals from the corner kick as their strikers slotted in from a free header. Rollers have to now face some of the teams that never show mercy against them. They are scheduled to play Lobatse based side, BMC in the next game.
Meanwhile, Rollers are also reported to be busy working round the clock to bolster their squad. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that Rollers are on the verge of acquiring the services of Burundian international, Ndikoman Happy, who is an attacking midfielder. Happy is reported to have impressed the technical team after undergoing trials with the team. Since Rollers have been struggling in the midfield following the deployment of Boitumelo to the defence, Happy is seen as someone who can coordinate well with Lesego Molemogi who has been struggling of late.