Veteran goalkeeper coach Thabo Mahala Motang’s days of hiding behind other coaches are over.
Township Rollers management threw him to the deep end this week when they appointed him the club’s caretaker coach following the departure of Nicola Kavazovic. In a fitting acknowledgment of his years of service – having starred between the poles for the team all his playing days and grown into the club and national team goalkeeper coach, it was always a matter of time when he would eventually assume the full reigns.
Though it is just for the interim, Motang will be expected to do all in his power to show that he has long deserved the job. He does not need any induction on the pressure and culture of Rollers. This has been his home, almost all his entire football life though he has had sojourns with other sides.
His association with the club has long exceeded being mere means to a month-end salary; it is his passion. To assist him, the club has also picked another veteran Leutlwetse Tshireletso.
Motang’s first test was yesterday (Saturday) against Mochudi Centre Chiefs at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium. BTC Premier League has been on FIFA international break, allowing national teams to play.
Chiefs will seek to regain their confidence and glory when they take on Rollers, having recently registered their first victory of the season by beating Security Systems 2-1.
Rollers are currently perched at the top of the summit with 19 points together with Orapa United.
Rollers will count on veteran striker Joel Mogorosi, Captain Maano Ditshupho and Mmoloki Cooper for victory. The youthful Chiefs will rely on midfiled maestro Elvis Maleka and striker Sekhana Koko.
Rollers spokesperson Bafana Phetho has refuted claims that Rollers are courting former Gaborone United mentor Rudolf Zapata as the potential replacement for Kavazovicas Zapata has recently resigned from the Kenyan Premier League giants AFC Leopards following his short stint with club following his departure from Gaborone United (GU).
Observers have pointed out that since GU have roped in Phillimon Makhwengwe as the head coach, Zapata will be the next Rollers coach.