The plot is thickening in the Township Rollers camp amid news of an alleged resignation of their want away Serbian-born coach, Nicola Karvazovic. The grinding rumour mill alleges the coach bid his players goodbye before Independence after their clash against Police XI only for his bosses to rebut his self-acclaimed resignation. Those in the know have alleged that Karvazovic is crying foul that some of his payments have not being processed and wanted to quit as such payments could only be done by the club president, Jagdish Shah who is the sole signatory at the club.
At the time of his “misunderstood” resignation, Shah was in Europe thus no action on the alleged pending payments. However, this misconduct did not sit well with the top brass thus prompting for an implementation of plan B which meant seeking the services of a new coach.
“The management met with the coach on 28th of September to establish the facts with regard to his resignation, as no official communication had been received from him by the management. The coach has categorically denied ever stating that he has resigned or was resigning. The coach has clarified his comments made to players after our game against Police, as training schedule announcements for the following four days covering the Independence holidays and his availability to the team, as he had family issues to attend to during that time,” said the club’s chairman, Walter Kgabung.
The Serbian coach has also and continuously been a thorn in the media space since his arrival at the most successful football club in Botswana where at times he’d refuse to do post-match interviews; a requisite in the statues of the BTC premiership play rules and regulations. However, he is credited to have had the best spell at the club wining all silverware domestically and taking the local side to the group stage of the CAF champions’ league.
The rumor mill is busy grinding that the South African Absa premiership league could be his next destination should he leave Popa as it has always been reported that Kaizer Chiefs shortlisted him for the hot seat before settling for Giovanni Solinas of Italy. Should news of Karvazovic ever ring true, who can Rollers land as their next coach? #BotswanaUnplugged looked at five (5) reasons that could make the former Gaborone United (GU) gaffer, Rodolfo Zapata return to Botswana to take on the Rollers’ hot seat…
Immediate resignation with AFC Leopards
He has been seen as a catalyst coach in the Kenyan league having taken his team from mid-table to top 3 standings of the current campaign. He has however resigned amicably in Kenya and currently headed to New York, USA where he holds coaching clinics for development sides.
Personal friend with Rollers President Jagdish Shah
Zapata is also a personal friend with Shah and they continue to talk at length about the prospects of Rollers together time and again. In fact, during his time at GU, Zapata used one of Shah’s properties such as Jack’s Gym especially in the CBD; at times same time with Rollers players.
Understanding of African football
As Rollers will still be competing in the CAF champions league, it needs a coach with a better understanding of how African teams play, hospitality, stadium roars to be able to have a collaborative approach of every encounter in the region. Zapata firmly has joined the same cartel having coached in Botswana, South Africa and Kenya.
Football approach and style
He is from Argentina, in South America; a continent known for its beautiful football having produced football aces such as Gabriel Batistuta, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Neymar among many stars thus no surprise when Zapata made an interesting observation that only 10% of the players in the premiership know football while the rest are just junk. Basically, if every team registers 30 players, there are around 480 players in the BTC premiership and even national team selectors who are rebuilding the Zebras have only managed to identify 50 players. Furthermore, even when at GU, he kept reminding pundits that he plays soccer not football. He likes to give players the freedom to enjoy the ball and Rollers has the arsenal to carry his philosophy.
New York hospitality on Shah’s account
Wealthy as he is, Shah offers his friend lavish apartments when in NYC. Zapata is always in New York around the preseason vacation doing his coaching clinics. Furthermore, when Zapata resigned in Kenya, he headed to NYC, at the same time when Shah was also in NYC conducting his business endeavors.