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Papic tipped for Rollers challenge

Publishing Date : 26 March, 2018


Former Orlando Pirates head Coach Kostadin Papic is the latest likeliest candidate to replace Township Rollers mentor Nikola Kavazovic, should the Serbian decide to dump the Gaborone giants at the end of the season.

Township Rollers sources have told WeekendSport that Papic had been in constant communication with The Blues long before Kavazovic was brought in to take up the post. According to sources, Rollers is busy negotiating with the Serbian and are hoping to agree a reasonable offer with him.

There is indeed a strong possibility that Kavazovic will leave at the end of the season. While his impending move hinges on two grounds, the first obvious reason being that some South African super clubs are keen on bagging his signature. The last, but not so pleasing reason is his relationship with some of his technical staff. There is reported fall out between him and his assistant coach Teenage Mpote.  But whatever the case, Rollers are not motivated to pursue this last factor largely because Kavazovic’s work at the helm of Rollers really speaks for itself. “Really you cannot risk sacking a coach that gives you silverware,” a source shared.

On the other hand, Papic is also seen as a highly rated tactician who can also elevate Rollers to much greater heights. The team management, it is said, accords the Rollers coaching job the seriousness it deserves and the arrival of Kavazovic last season showed a measure of significance in traversing new territories. Sources point out that Rollers would want Papic to command a salary scale the same as that of Kavazovic but any other changes will be made if the need arises.

Phemperetlhe Pheto, the team’s media liason when quizzed about the speculation only said, “ Nikola Kavasovic is still our coach, that is as far as I can go.” While Rollers have maintained a rather professional approach, and not willing to disclose that they are shopping around for a possible replacement for Kavazovic, this publication has learnt that the Gaborone giants will publicly address the issue once the season comes to an end.

A key consideration for the Jagdish Shah driven project is of course possible public backlash should it finally come to an agreement with the former Ghanaian coach, who has also coached Kaizer Chiefs more especially that it is not clear if he will replicate what Kavazovic has achieved during his short spell with the club.

Meanwhile, it is said some within the Rollers management want the club to fight to keep the coach, despite the over pouring interest from other teams from outside the country. Some however believe that should the coach take up outside offers, the team would have not lost as they believe Papic can do the same and perhaps more for the club, him also being Serbian.    Pound for pound, they argue, Papic has a more African football experience than Kavazovic, and this works more in favour for Papic.



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