FRANCISTOWN: Premier leaguer powerhouse, Township Rollers will be aiming to avoid what would be a huge disappointment if they were to be eliminated from the Orange FA cup by minnows Tonota FC.
The match, which is probably the standout fixture this weekend, will be played at the old Francistown stadium tomorrow.
By virtue of their standards Rollers are tipped to have a stress-free match against lowly ranked Tonota FC who have found the going tough in the Debswana First Division North league.
Rollers are now high on confidence following a string of good results after a rough spell that included a humiliating league loss to struggling Gilport Lions.
The morale is also high in the Popa camp following a 4-1 win over TAFIC in a midweek league clash. Township Rollers will also be eager to win the match since they have made it clear that they are chasing a domestic treble.
On the other hand Township Rollers’ failure to boss Kazungula Young Fighters in the quarterfinal of the competition last season might give Tonota hope of causing a major upset. Rollers won the encounter against Kazungula by a solitary goal.
Yesterday, Tonota FC chairperson, Lebogang Supang said any prospect of an upset from his side should not be ruled out.
“Of course, the weekend match will be a very tough test to us, but we are very confident that we can cause a major upset. The players are looking forward to this match. The mood in the camp is very high. Our biggest hope is that our fans will come in numbers to back the players,” he said.
“We have quality players who are capable of bringing down Rollers. Playing Rollers is a motivation itself. I believe our players are ready to mount a strong challenge on Saturday,” added Supang.
Supang noted that the team has also had special preparations for the match.
“We have spent P11, 900 buying new soccer boots
He added that the team started training at the old Francistown stadium on Wednesday in a bid to acclimatise ahead of the match. Tonota play almost all their league matches on a hard ground.
Supang said switching the venue of the match at the 11th-hour would not have any impact on his players. The match was moved to Francistown because of lack of a suitable venue in Tonota.
“We explained the reasons for taking the match to Francistown to all stakeholders involved including the players and they understood,” he said.
Yesterday, Township Rollers assistant coach, Zachariah Mudzadzi pointed out that they will approach Tonota like they have been doing with all the other teams in the elite league.
“We will not underestimate them. Playing against Township Rollers is a huge motivation to small teams. They might be struggling in the league, but their players will be eager to impress and possibly attract suitors, which is why it will be suicidal to underestimate them,” he said.
Rollers will be without the deadly forward, Tumisang Orebonye because of suspension after he picked his third yellow card against TAFIC on Wednesday.
According to Mudzadzi attacking midfielder, Segolame Boy, is also unlikely to feature as he has just resumed training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
In other interesting fixtures billed for tomorrow, Miscellaneous will host Jwaneng Galaxy at Serowe Sports Complex while Security Systems and BDF XI will lock horns at the UB Stadium.