Coaching a team of Township Rollers’ caliber is not an easy task. One is always under intense scrutiny and pressure from important stakeholders like the supporters and the media. It is even worse if the results are not forthcoming because the team has ample resources and is an envy of many teams. Rollers have many quality players and a large support base throughout the country.
Rollers are the local equivalent of giants like Spain’s Barcelona. If three games can pass without desirable results, fists can even fly.
Already at Rollers, things are not going the way many people anticipated, and pressure is already mounting on the technical team led by coach Madinda Ndlovu. Since the commencement of the season, the team has been inconsistent. Winning two games in a row is now a thing of the past at rollers. They now lose to teams that rarely beat them before. Rollers have already fallen far behind in the Mascom Premier league marathon. Two pace setters, Ecco City Green and Mochudi Centre Chiefs, have opened a wide gap and it is doubtful if Rollers will be able to close the gap before the end of the first round.
In the just ended season, Rollers failed to defend both the league and the prestigious Coca Cola Cup and many people expected the team to at least show commitment this year.
Most Rollers supporters point an accusing finger at the coach, saying his tactical changes left a lot to be desired, especially in the games Rollers lost. The supporters also lambaste the technical department for failing to come up with a core winning team because the squad is always changed for each game Rollers plays.
Since the league started, one of Rollers convincing victories was a 4-1 victory against Lobatse outfit, Lobtrans Gunners, three weeks ago. Most of the players in the team were benchwarmers, but they played heroically and it was like they had always been in the game. In the following game, Rollers drew with Uniao Flamengo Santos before going down by a solitary goal to BMC last week in Molepolole.
One of Rollers supporters, Samuel Mothibatsela, believes Madinda is a good coach because he has transformed Rollers play from a rusty type of play to an attack minded one. He also believes Madinda is struggling because he has many good players and some of them must be offloaded. He added that the department that has to be restructured is the midfield, which has more than enough players. He gave an example of Lesego Molemogi, Boitumelo Mafoko and Patrick Kasongo from Zambia. Mothibatsela emphasised that the trio plays a similar role and one of them must, at least, be loaned if the team is not willing to sell him.
Mothibatsela also says Madinda must select a bold first eleven.
“Rollers are not winning games as many people expected, but I am foreseeing it challenging for league honours come the second round. Madinda has transformed Rollers since he came, but he is just struggling to find a winning formula. Currently, the team is playing better football than any other Premier league team. Some of the games Rollers lost were just that lady luck was not on their side,” he said.
Mothibatsela also expressed a concern about a certain section of Rollers supporters who are calling for Madinda’s head. He said firing a coach is not an overnight decision because it involves a lot of factors.
It now remains to be seen how Rollers will fare in the upcoming games. But if the inconsistency continues, the coach might be shown the door because he is an easy target. If the team wins it is the players that mostly get the accolades.