With Township Rollers about to break into the CAF Championship League, club officials have attributed the recent good performance of the team to good preparations. This week Rollers beat Tanzania’s Young Africans 2-1 in their own turf. This put Rollers in very good position to go in to the group stage, becoming the first local club to reach this level. Rollers with two valuable away goals carry a huge advantage into the final leg. Rollers’ spokesperson Bafana Pheto said they are aiming to reach the group stages and will not show any mercy on March 17 game. “We went to Tanzania and attacked them from the onset; what will be stopping us to do that here,” he said. The spokesperson said they are very happy at how the team played in Tanzania and believe that it will continue with the good display even at home. Rollers reached this stage after brushing off Sudan’s Al Merrikh by a 4-2 aggregate score. Before going to Tanzania, Rollers had their morale boasted by winning the Mascom Top 8 cup, beating Orapa United 4-2 last weekend. While Batswana are currently focused on Rollers’ good performance, Pheto said this is a result of hard work that started a long time back. He said one should rewind the tape a little to find out where this good performance is coming from. He attributed the team’s current performance to the pre-season preparations.
Rollers had a very jam-packed pre-season as they had set themselves big goals being to win the BTC Premiership, the Mascom Top 8 and reach the group stages of CAF Championships. Pheto, who could not hide his happiness, said they have learnt a lot from their South African counterparts in Kaizer Chiefs and Platinum Stars. “We had started our preparations very early this season. You will remember that we took part in the Maize tournament and after that we took Kaizer Chiefs to Francistown. We have learnt a lot from these teams, and the good performance we are currently displaying is a result of hard work and determination from everyone,” said Pheto. Some in the football fraternity also believe that the arrival of Coach Nikola Kavazovic at Rollers added strength to the team. It is reported that the players are enjoying working with the coach and most of them have started even showing great improvement even in the field of play.
With the current form, Pheto is confident that they will be able to attain all their set goals. “We are already half way to attaining our objectives. The Mascom Top 8 is already in the bag, the league we are doing well and we are one foot into the group stages. I am confident we will attain all that,” he said. Quizzed if Rollers will be able to cope financially should they proceed into the group stages, Pheto was on the affirmative. In a number of occasions local teams have in the past decided not to undertake the CAF competitions, citing the costs. However, this time Rollers are lucky to have a cheerful financier in Jaghdish Shah who has availed money for the team. “I believe the team is ready financially since Shah has availed the funds. It was his wish that we reach the semi-finals so I do not think then after reaching them we would struggle financially,” revealed Pheto. Pheto called on Batswana to support the team on 17 March 2018 at the National Stadium, saying this will motivate the players to deliver good results. Rollers officials have already started a campaign to get supporters to the stadium dubbed “Operation Pack the Stadium”.
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