Township Rollers are reeling from bad run form which started after the departure of Serbian coach Nikola Kavazovic.
Nikola, who has since joined Kenyan-based outfit AF C Leoprards led the team to the league and cup double in his maiden debut season and registered a historic moment with local side by reaching the CAF Champions’ league group stages in.
He has been replaced by former Gaborone United coach Rodolfo Zapata who is yet to resume head coach duties.
Rollers have not been consistent under care-taker coaches, culminating with them being eliminated from the CAF Champions League.
According to Rollers’ diehards and local football commentators, the current form and performance by the team is a clear sign that Nikola has left a huge gap which cannot easily be filled. There is a fear that the team’s struggle will continue as goals have dried up.
Soccer analyst Bapati Mmmotlenyane contended that Kavazovic is the missing link for Rollers at the moment. He said no team will afford to lose a coach of Nikola’s calibre and hope to remain the same.
Mmmotlenyane charged that the blame should not be on Motang, because it can be difficult for him to manage the players who are the best in the country. “Look, Nikola succeeded with Rollers and there was a future and great destiny ahead. Now Zapata will take over; he is a good coach and Rollers’ fans must not judge him with his previous success at GU,” he noted.
Fans have also cast doubt on the team without Nikola in charge. The argument is that the newly appointed Zapata might not be able to rise to the expectation.
One supporter Kitso Morekisi told Patriot Sport that although the team is at the top of the league summit it is not guaranteed that with the current performance and failure in the technical team, tables cannot turn around any time soon.
Some Rollers fans argue that Zapata can succeed just as Nikola. Zapata had coached GU before and he didn’t win any silver on the then crisis marred United. He then joined AFC Leopards in Kenya where his predecessor Kavazovic is now in charge. Zapata had five months with the team before he resigned amid poor results spell.
“We have seen Zapata while at GU and he didn’t live to expectation to the club of GU ’magnitude. However, will have to give him a chance and prove himself,” reckoned one supporter Agisanyang Montsho.