Rollers take on their old rivals Extension Gunners in the second semi-final billed for 12noon. Mapalastina have recently been a disappointment, with people in various quarters calling for change in their arsenal. The Kabelano Charity Cup raised the hopes of their ardent supporters, but nothing came of it. Their problems started when they lost to Notwane in the semi-final of the Goitsemang Merafe Charity Cup early this month.
Anyone close to Rollers knows that this time around they cannot afford to lose another one-day tournament. Hence their clash against Gunners is expected to be a thriller. Clashes between the sides in the past have been full of drama and this one will be no exception. Though efforts to get a comment from Rollers' coach Dickson Ngwenya were fruitless, as he said he was in a meeting, news from their camp is that they were not banking on new players at least by close of business on Wednesday.
However, the good news for Rollers is that former Mogoditshane Fighters' goalkeeper Anthony Matengu, has been training with the Gaborone-West based outfit and chances are that he will be given a run tomorrow.
Matengu has not been active for a long time and it will be interesting to see if he can still stand the pressure in the elite league.
When contacted for comment yesterday, Gunners' coach Daniel 'Chicco' Nare said that they have recruited a number of youngsters from lower division sides and will give them a run
against Mapalastina. "I will give them a taste of the big stage and see how they cope.
These are the kind of games I expect them to play next season; so it is important that they play. The good thing about these games is that there is no pressure to win because we are building a side which will be able to compete when the season resumes," he said.
Nare encouraged Gunners' supporters to come in large numbers to witness if the youngsters they have recruited can take them somewhere. He pleaded with the supporters not to put the youngsters under unnecessary pressure as they are still learning. Other players, who are expected to be given a chance to parade their skills, are goalkeeper Ntungamile Tshoganetso, and Thapelo Mokgothu from Jwaneng Comets and veteran defender Thebeetsile 'Mkhari' Raditsebe from Rollers. It will be interesting to see how Raditsebe copes against his former team-mates.
Clifford Mogomotsi, who sits on the organising committee, pleaded with the supporters to come and support the initiative. He said this tournament is not going to benefit Mochudi Centre Chiefs, as many are made to believe, but the Bakgatla community who are preparing for the coronation of their Paramount Chief Kgafela Kgafela in September. "This is not the first time the same teams will be taking part in such initiative. We did it some years back to raise funds for the coronation of Kgosi Kgari of Bakwena," he said.