Mark Harrison’s mandate when he was roped in as Township Rollers coach six months ago was to either win the league or the Top 8 cup. However, Harrison himself is eyeing both honours. The Englishman said they are currently on the right track to bag the double. His priority however is the league as he says it will give them the opportunity to play against other African teams. In an interview on Friday, Harrison commended his team for the great performance they displayed throughout. Rollers, who are leading the pack in the log with 37points, five ahead of runner ups Orapa United, finished the first half of the season with an impressive unbeaten run of the 15 games they played. On the other hand, they have qualified for the semi- finals of the Mascom Top 8 tournament.
Harrison is one of the few coaches in the country who has anything he needs at his disposal. He has an experienced and well desired squad which makes it easy for him to execute his mandate. “We have a talented squad that is very determined to produce results. The team is well balanced with a mixture of experience and youth. As a result I am able to rotate the players without compromising the quality,” said Harrison. The way the team appears determined to end the drought of silverware that has recently hit the club. Even though Harrison believes they are on the right track, he does not want to openly declare that they will win the league.
The good run by Rollers, however, does not threaten some who feel the team will lose it towards the end. Harrison insisted that they are planning for one game at a time with the motive is to win each. “I cannot talk about what happened while I was not there but I can only say we are planning for 30 games and we take each game as it comes. We know at some point we may lose but it is part of the game,” said Harrison. He said the first round was a learning curve for him and the players and it went very well.
With that done it implies that the second round could only be easier for them. However, the coach did not want to out-rightly say that. He called on Rollers supporters to rally behind the team for it to do well. “The league is won over 30 games so let us be patient and stand together,” he urged the supporters. On the quality of football in Botswana in general, he said there is great talent in the country. He however said a lot of improvement needs to be made to the players. “This should only start with coach education. We cannot have good quality players when the coaches are left out. For the players to be strong it has to come from the coaches,” he explained.