Coaches take jabs ahead of derby

Coming together: Moloi (left) with Morapedi PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Coming together: Moloi (left) with Morapedi PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The referee will only blow the whistle to the start of the Gaborone Derby tomorrow at 3:30pm but war off the bench is in full swing.

The two head coaches, Pontsho 'Piro' Moloi and Innocent Morapedi have shelved their friendship as the derby divides the city into red and blue. The tacticians enjoy a master and student relationship and will clash tomorrow, as they look to move closer to the league title, with bragging rights also on offer. Moloi served as Morapedi's deputy at Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the former's elementary stages of his coaching career. The duo reunited at GU for a couple of years and led the Reds to their first league title in over a decade while winning two consecutive FA Cup titles. They faced off in the first leg of the derby in December and Morapedi got the better of his former junior colleague as Rollers won 2-1. Popa have dominated the tie since 2010 with nine wins compared to Moya goleele's six. Moloi took a slight jab at Rollers in the build-up to tomorrow's contest as he boasted more wins over his opponent. "I can only talk about my tenure here. I have more numbers than them. There is pressure always. We love pressure and it is a game of pressure. So we will deal with the pressure," he said.

Moloi was responding to a question on his thoughts on Rollers' dominance in the tie over the years. Since his tenure at GU, Moloi oversaw four wins over Rollers while he lost twice and played to a draw once since the 2019-2020 season. Morapedi responded: "What I know is my captain has got more wins than him, so that will continue. The pressure you are talking about is pressure that is pleasure. Even the ball that you play (with), if it does not have pressure, you cannot play." The coach referenced Rollers captain, Simisane Mathumo, who has been with Rollers since 2009 and enjoyed nine Gaborone Derby victories. Morapedi added that his side would look to pull further away from the Reds in the title race. Rollers are seven points ahead of GU but five points behind leaders, Jwaneng Galaxy. "On our side, it means nothing. It is in the schedule regardless of the position we are in. It was bound to come and, yes, we need additional points from this match. I should also mention that we will win, not to move away from GU but to move closer to Galaxy," he said.

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