Trucha To Blend Pep, Klopp Philosophies

Township Rollers (in blue) and Kaizer Vjiefs played a friendly match on Saturday with Rollers winning 2-1 PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Township Rollers (in blue) and Kaizer Vjiefs played a friendly match on Saturday with Rollers winning 2-1 PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Township Rollers new mentor, Thomas Trucha says he is trying to integrate two World class coaches, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s philosophies into his team. Trucha took over the coaching reins at Rollers last month following the departure of Rodolfo Zapata who led the outfit to league glory.

Both Guardiola and Klopp are attack-minded and believe in winning the ball. While Guardiola relies much on ball retention and keeping possession even when they attack, Klopp’s teams press at high speed and regroup back quickly as soon as they lose the ball.

Trucha said he wants to try and combine the two philosophies as Rollers target not only the domestic glory and venture into Africa through the CAF Champions League.

“I am following Pep (Guardiola) and Klopp, I am trying to combine their philosophies,” Trucha told journalists after his side beat South African giants, Kaizer Chiefs, 2-1 in a friendly match on Saturday. 

It was Rollers’ first pre-season friendly at home after playing several matches in South Africa last week. They hosted Kaizer Chiefs at Jamali stadium in Tlokweng. The facility is expected to be their future home ground. The stadium, though not fully completed, absorbed quite a number of spectators. Trucha also said he was happy with his players’ progress ahead of the season but pointed out that the match was mainly in preparation for the CAF campaign.

“This game was a preparation for CAF, so we said let us play like we are playing a CAF game. Let us press high. It was an open game, we had chances, they had chances,” Trucha said.

He said it is important to beat a big team like Kaizer Chiefs even though it was a friendly match because players need to feel they are on the right track. He refused to single out individual players despite the likes of Tumisang Orebonye’s exploits and insisted that he has a very quality side in almost every position.

“We have very good players in every position and we are working as a team,” he said. He also did not want to be involved in the current Rollers and Joel Mogorosi stand off saying it is a management issue. Mogorosi’s contract expired at the end of the season and has not yet been renewed. Rollers recently stated that they gave him an offer and asked to be given time to look at it. Mogorosi has also not joined the team on their pre-season. He was the team’s leading goal scorer last season.

On Saturday, Kaizer Chiefs took the lead through veteran striker, Bernard Parker before Rollers defender, Kaone van der Westhuizen levelled matters. Orebonye scored the winner to give Rollers the victory. 

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