Around the year 2002, Township Rollers supporters went through the most painful experience of their lives; a period that will take them decades to forget.
This was when the country most popular team was relegated to the lower First Division. It was the most traumatic experience for Rollers and it took them almost two years to bounce back. One notable person who fought hard to restore the team back to its glory days was none other than Molepolole born, Somerset Gobuiwang, who went on to lead the team for more than 10 years as Managing Director. He became a popular, iconic figure at Rollers because upon returning to the elite league, Rollers made history by winning the league championships on their first season. As if that was enough, Rollers added the lucrative Coca Cola tournament on top and all the long lost smiles came back to the faces of players, managers and fans alike.
The popularity of Rollers even spread across borders as the team played in Club African competitions. Rollers showed that they were not making numbers but meant business. For the first time Rollers managed to knock out a Zambian team, Zesco United and even gave another team from Angola, Petro de Luanda a run for their money. Traditionally Zambian and Angolan team always had it easy against Botswana but it was a different story under Gobuiwang’s leadership. Gobuiwang’s shrewdness in football saw him regularly interacting with big teams in the South African Premier League. Rollers then started selling players to the South African Premier League. It all started with the likes of Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping, Phenyo Mongala, Boitumelo Mafoko, Kabelo Dambe, Terrence Mandaza and Mogogi Gabonamong. Mongala went to South Africa in the books of Platinum Stars and ended up playing for Orlando Pirates before coming home. Later on followed Mogakolodi Ngele who is now in the books of Mamelodi Sundowns after also playing for Platinum Stars. Somerset now seems to be out in the cold since his feud with businessman, Jagdish Shah and some of the people who are currently holding executive positions at Rollers. Somerset did not stand for any of the team’s executive position at the past elections that were held last month. Many people are wondering if Somerset will ever be associated with Rollers or if this is the end of the road for him. Currently Rollers is busy trying to commercialize and there are even reports doing the rounds that Somerset might never make it back to the team. When contacted by The Telegraph Sports he refused to comment on anything that has to do with Rollers. “Unfortunately I cannot say anything regarding Rollers. The people better placed to say something are the ones heading Rollers,” he said. Gobuiwang even could not shed any light regarding his future plans in football or whether he would ever be associated with Rollers.