Township Rollers might be enjoying their place in the CAF Champions League sun, but that has come at a cost, with the club having spent P430,000 in the two-legged first round tie against Sudanese side, Al Merreikh.
Rollers president, Jagdish Shah said they used P430,000 for both their home and away ties.
Rollers were first to host the Sudanese at the National Stadium before travelling to North Africa for the return fixture last Wednesday.
Rollers made a successful return to continental football after walloping the more seasoned Al Merreikh 3-0 in the first leg, before going down 2-1 in the reverse fixture, to progress to the second round 4-2 on aggregate.
They meet Young Africans of Tanzania on Tuesday away, and Shah said they expect to spend more or less the same as they did in the first round.
This will push Rollers’ spend close to P1-million although there is reprieve in the group stages with continental soccer body, CAF announcing improved packages for teams reaching the last eight of the competition.
If Rollers reach the group stages, they will become the first Botswana side to achieve the milestone, and handsome rewards awaiting, with at least P550,000 cash prize guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Shah said they face a demanding travel
Rollers played and lost to BDF XI on Monday and will travel to Francistown for tomorrow’s Mascom Top 8 final against Orapa United. They leave Francistown soon after the game by road.
“We leave after dinner on Saturday. The boys will travel the whole night and go straight to the airport to catch a 6am flight to Johannesburg,” Shah said.
Rollers will pray that the final does not go all the way to extra time or penalties, as this will adversely affect their travel schedule.
Popa will arrive in Dar es Salam on Sunday and play on Tuesday and fly back on Wednesday, to continue with a taxing fixture schedule.
Their progress in the Champions League has come at a cost as they were forced to field fringe players against BDF XI and they paid the price.
The result saw second-placed Jwaneng Galaxy eat into Rollers’ lead, which was cut to just three points, 10 games before the season ends.