Reigning league champions, Township Rollers are expecting a sold out crowd for tomorrow’s high profile friendly match against South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs.
The fixture would be used to officially open the new Jamali Stadium in Tlokweng. Rollers would utilise the 10,000 capacity stadium for both the league and CAF games in the coming season. The tickets for the match are selling at a relatively high price with the lowest going for P75, but the club has said despite the steep prices, they are expecting the tickets to be sold out by end of business today.
“They are selling very fast through our branches around the country. They (branches) keep asking for more tickets, this shows that the demand is high across the country,” Rollers public relations officer, Bafana Pheto said this week.
“There is euphoria around the new stadium and the opposition. Chiefs, on the other hand, have asked for 500 tickets, even here locally they have a lot of fans. I believe that we will have a sold out crowd for the game. This is an atmosphere we are looking for as a team because we learn to thrive best under that kind of atmosphere.”
He further said the playing field is ready and expect an exciting match against the four-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions, as both clubs will be unveiling their new recruits. Rollers have been busy in the market this transfer window, as they acquired the services of Zebras goalkeeper, Kabelo Dambe, striker, Kitso Mpuisang, wingers Tlhalefo Molebatsi and Phenyo Seramemng from Notwane and BDF XI respectively while Mooketsi Gareonne joined from Miscellaneous. Ivorian striker, Fabian Mongba and Ugandan anchorman, Ivan Mbowa are the external recruits.
“The turf is ready, it is natural grass and meets international standards, which will allow both teams to play their best football. We (Rollers) have all our players available for selection for the game. It is very important that we get a positive result against Chiefs because they are a team of immense quality and we have to test our mettle against such an opponent before the new season starts,” Pheto added.
Rollers have been based in Rustenburg, South Africa for their pre-season preparations. The team played against PSL side, SuperSport, Orbit FC and Tanzanian champions, Simba S.C. On the other hand, Ernst Middendorp will bring a fully fledged Chiefs side, excluding the trio of Bruce Bvuma, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Daniel Cardoso who have been given extended leave following their exploits with the national team at the AFCON in Egypt.
The Glamour Boys’ skipper, Itumeleng Khune who missed a majority of the last season due to injury has returned to full fitness and will lead the side on Saturday.
The team is bringing along their new signings, Lazarous Kambole, Ghanaian hardman James Kotei, striker Samir Nurkovic and Kearyn Baccus, alongside trialist Yagan Sasman. Amakhosi have been based at Camp Discovery, just north of Pretoria for their preseason training.
Kick-off for the game is at 2.30pm while a curtain raiser between Notwane and Extension Gunners is scheduled to start at 11am. Meanwhile, defending Absa Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns are also in Botswana for two friendly matches against Jwaneng Galaxy on Saturday in Lobatse at 3pm. On Sunday, Pitso Mosimane’s charges take on Morupule Wanderers at the National Stadium. Kick-off is 3pm.