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Miscellaneous with a mountain to climb against rampant Rollers
Miscellaneous will face the bright lights of the city when the Serowe boys take on defending Champions and this season’s pacesetters, Township Rollers in an evening kick off at the UB grounds.
The Saturday night clash under floodlights sees the two oldest clubs in the country confront each other as Rollers seek to extend their nine match unbeaten start to the season.
Newly promoted Miscellaneous, which was founded in 1962, have had mixed fortunes on their Premier League debut, but will look to cause an upset against a rampant Rollers, whose vintage dates back to 1967.  Thirteen places now separate them in the log, and most believe that the gap between the clubs is too wide a gulf for the northerners to overcome.
But master tactician Teenage Mpote, one of the few local coaches in the league, will have other ideas as he seeks to put one over his Zambian counterpart Wesley Mondo.
The game was initially scheduled for Selebi-Phikwe Stadium, but looking at the number of followers that they are likely to attract in Gaborone, the two sides agreed to move the game down south.
Mpote is not bothered where they play, his more pressing concern is how they play.
” We don’t have any home ground advantage because we play all our games away. So if it makes business sense to go to Gaborone so be it. It’s what we do on the field that matters.”
For his part Mondo admitted to Voice Sport that he has not watched his Saturday opponents play a single premier league game. Last year when the two teams met in a Coke match, Mondo was still at Mochudi Centre Chiefs while Miscellaneous were campaigning in the first division.
” It makes it easier to play against a team you have watched before because you know what to expect. What I will have to do now is to psych my players not to look down on this team just because they are rookies.
“But we deserve to be where we are in the league and our success so far has been well earned. We are a force to reckon with and have combined power play with an ability to keep the ball,” he said.
While Mondo has not seen Mpote’s side the same cannot be said about his counterpart who told Voice Sport that he had an opportunity to watch Rollers play against BDF X1 last weekend.
”I have seen them play, and I am convinced that we will match them. I have seen their weaknesses and strengths. They play simple football, but they are good because they play a lot with their midfield and we need to pay attention to that.
“Their forwards are in good touch so we shouldn’t let them get the supply from the middle. We need to come up with a strong tactical game, which I have planned. We also need to get an early goal to settle any nerves,” he said.
Mpote is concerned that lack of experience from his youthful squad has been their main downfall in most games. But like most sides that play Rollers, his players will approach the game like a cup final.
”It is easier to play the big teams because the players are all motivated, that is what I have seen from my youngsters. I know what to expect. I played them last season in the Coke Cup and I will use the same strategy to bottle them up,” said the former National Under-23 tactician.
For Rollers Mondo’s only worry is that his trusted defender, Oscar Ncenga will have to pass a late fitness test before going into the encounter.
”I am happy that we have begun playing good football. If you play the ball around it makes it difficult for opponents to get at you. Our intention is to accumulate as many points as we possibly can in the first round. This is because in the second round everybody will have settled down and become familiar with their opponents,” he said.
Rollers haven’t had it all their own way against smaller teams. They left it until late against, Black Peril and only managed a solo goal against Motlakase.
”Each game is completely different. As long as we are in the same league we can’t afford to undermine our opponents. Motlakase played their hearts out in that encounter because they needed their first win. There is no such thing as a smaller team, results cannot be determined by status,” Mondo said.
As far as the two skippers are concerned, Jerry Ranthotana said that Rollers would not intimidate them.
”We may be staying in Serowe, but we are a very serious side with ambition. We don’t fear Rollers, not even a little bit. We are in the same league and we have played them before. We gave them a run for their money and they know that very well,” he said.
Rollers captain, Joel Mogorosi, who scored a brace on Friday commented: “We take each game as it comes, but what I know is that we are in an uncompromising mood.
“I saw this spirit last season when we won the league. The boys are eager to go all out and thrash any team coming our way. Miscellaneous will be like an animal blinded by the bright lights, and we will pin them down and finish them off before they know what hit them,” he predicted.

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