He had his first contract with a team in Europe when he was just 18 years old. The Senegal national Pape Abdoulaye Ndaw’s arrival at Township Rollers was expected to help the team progress further with him as the scoring machine. Standing at 2.1 metres, Ndaw is easily the tallest player in the Botswana Premier League (BPL). The player, who once captained Liverpool’s hot property Sadio Mane, has been with Rollers for some months but is yet to deliver in scoring goals. In an interview, he did not hold anything back, revealing his unhappiness at his performance because he knows that he can do much better. He said that he does not want to point fingers at anyone because he knows that as a player he has to adapt to a different play, though he has been struggling with that. During his game at the national stadium with CnAPS in the CAF Champions league, it was very evident that his other team mates could not gel with him too well. This was despite drawing attention from the visiting team’s defenders who were seemingly intimidated by him.
Ndaw, however, believes everything is falling into place. “The first time it was very difficult for me because I didn’t know how to play the kind of football that is played around here. It is totally different and professionally I know I have to adapt to this system, but even though I am not yet able to score I can say that now I have begun to enjoy myself,” he said. He said that it was disappointing to lose in CAF. “I believe we learnt a lot of things about those games. I think going forward this should help Rollers in their games,” he said. Ndaw believes in the potential that Botswana has, and says that can only be realised more if football to local players is not only on the pitch but even outside the pitch, because they need stability in their lives before they can want stability on the pitch. To him discipline matters so a lot and that is why he can play for 90 minutes without saying a word.
He said African football is very difficult, saying even if one was to bring Messi to Africa he will not play very well. He recognised his team mates Segolame Boy and Lemponye Tshireletso as the players that he believes can make it to Europe because they are incredible players. He hailed his employer Jackdish Shah is his pillar of strength as he always encourages him to keep on working hard. Ndaw laughed at suggestions that he has other offers though confirming that some coaches have talked to him. He could not divulge more, save to proclaim his love and respect for his current team and its leadership and that he is focused on doing his best for it. He reiterated his commitment to making sure that he hits his top form and deliver for the team.