· From league attention switches to CAF
Township Rollers on Wednesday night won the 2017/18 BTC Premiership – one of the most thrilling league season which required final day games to be determined.
Runners-up Jwaneng Galaxy were pinning their hopes on Rollers losing to Extension Gunners on the final day provided they beat their day’s opponents Centre Chiefs to clinch the title. Things didn’t go their way as Rollers muscled out Gunners 2-0 to win their third successive league title, giving them an overall 15th national league title.
Galaxy on the other hand played to a goalless draw with Chiefs. Rollers’ goals came courtesy of Kaone Vandwesthuizen and Segolame Boy – both scored in the first half.
Coach Nikola Kavazovic hailed the victory as a 'nice bonus' for a highly successful season that saw the team qualifying for the CAF Champion League groups stages for the first time. They have also won the Mascom Top 8 Cup.
"When I got to Rollers, getting the club into the CAF Champions’ League group stage was my first priority. Then I realised how much winning the Mascom Top 8 meant to the club after missing out on the cup for about six seasons. That became my second priority. So winning the league is a bonus, a nice one...a nice bonus. I think we played well tonight, especially when you had such a big crowd; they got to enjoy good football. But again, we repeated the negative mentality of having a two goal lead and instead of pushing for a third goal,” he said.
“My message to my management is that, we should print new T shirts; instead of 'History in the Making' we should say 'History Made," Kavazovic said.
As with any success, Kavazovic has in taking Rollers to the very top also attracted suitors from across the continent and beyond. So while Rollers have every reason to rejoice they do that with an undeniable concern as to whether they will have their coach in camp next season.
Among teams allegedly looking for his signature is Kaizer Chiefs – South Africa’s top soccer outfit that has struggled in recent years and as such are desperately looking for talented coaches to lift them to the top.
Kavazovic has confirmed that a number of clubs were courting him but refused to disclose them. Now that he has won the league and is leading the team in the CAF campaign, interest is expected to have intensified.
However, for the club the attention is on the next assignment where they will be facing Egypt’s Al Ahly in African League as part of the on-going group stage. They have already beaten Uganda’s KCCA 1-0 at home before suffering a humiliating 1-4 defeat to Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive.