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Rollers' time to eat

Fans are expected in numbers to power the team to victory PIC:KENNEDY RAMOKONE
It is now, or may be, never. Township Rollers have a date with destiny at the National Stadium tomorrow afternoon. But in between Rollers' and a history making moment, stands a seasoned but not so intimidating Tanzanian opponent, writes MQONDISI DUBE

After years of continental famine, the feast might have just arrived for Township Rollers. For years, Rollers have laboured in CAF club competitions, and despite their decorated local history, they have failed to progress past the first round on the continent.

But this season, the team of the moment has been swift to banish those bitter memories.  Rollers have been unstoppable, cantering to two successive league titles, and their appetite in Africa has moved several notches high.

A 3-0 first leg win over Sudan's Al Merreikh, set the tone and made the Botswana champions believe they can last the distance in CAF's flagship competition.

And indeed they have been a breath of fresh air, winning their first away tie in continental football a fortnight ago when they dismissed Young Africans 2-1 in the first leg of the second round tie.

Now, before what should be a bellowing National Stadium crowd tomorrow afternoon, Rollers reckon the Biblical seven years of drought are firmly behind and only the feast can beckon. With the financial backing of Jagdish Shah, Rollers, have over the past seasons, immaculately put together a juggernaut that has roared and rolled mercilessly in local competitions.

Well placed to win a third consecutive league title, and fresh from winning the Mascom Top 8, Rollers' confidence has touched the sky.

The home side is expected to rip apart Young Africans after a commanding display at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar

es Salaam two weeks ago. But games are not won on paper, and an early goal from the visitors might force Rollers to shove the champagne bottle back into ice.

Yanga, as the Tanzanians are affectionately called, arrived in the country on Tuesday, and have been busy at work, hoping to overturn the deficit. But the local side has proven match winners and are boosted by the return of Joel Mogorosi who sits out local matches due to a ban. His strike partner, Mthokozisi Msomi is out with an injury suffered in the first leg.

Edwin Moalosi, who was forced out of during the Mascom Top 8 tie is in line for a return as he started training on Tuesday.

In Mosha Gaolaolwe, Segolame Boy, Lemponye Tshireletso and young shot stopper, Keagile Kgosipula, Rollers have the right artillery to bring down Young Africans.

The club has reduced ticket prices to P10 for southern stands in order to encourage fans to turn up in their large numbers, and drive the team at this crucial hour.

Rollers' spokesperson, Bafana Pheto said ticket sales were at 40% as of yesterday, but expects the P10 seats to be sold out.

He said there would be a motorcade tomorrow morning, starting at the Notwane Grounds and around the city.  "The motorcade will start in the morning through places like Naledi and Gaborone West. We also have brass band entertainment at the stadium," Pheto said.




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