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Papic for Rollers job

Publishing Date : 10 December, 2018


Former Orlando Pirates head Coach Kostadin Papic now strongly leads the race to replace under fire Rudolph Zapata at Township Rollers. Papic’s name emerges for the second time this year at the heart of Rollers board room.

Township Rollers sources who spoke to WeekendSport say Papic has been in constant communication with The Blues long before Nikola Kavasovic was roped in. According to sources, Rollers is busy negotiating with Papic, who also hails from Serbia, to come into agreeing a reasonable offer. There is indeed a strong possibility that Zapata is heading for the exit door sooner than expected.

It is said that Zapata’s impending move out of Rollers camp now hinges on two factors; the first obvious reason is that some old Rollers crop of players are not pleased with his man management skills. The last, but not so pleasing reason is his style of playing philosophy he tried to implement at the Gaborone giants. It is reported that Rollers president Jagdish Shah is already ruing the day he signed Zapata without taking time to assess the situation.

Some informers claim Zapata is not necessarily a coach, but a physical trainer who last attended football classes almost 35 years ago. On the other hand, Papic is also seen as a highly rated tactician who can also transform Rollers season from a point of glory to another.  The management is believed to be giving the Rollers coaching job the seriousness it deserves and the arrival of Kavasovic last season showed a measure of significance in traversing new territories.

How and why the club chose to replace Kavazovic with Zapata is still a subject of the ongoing debate.  Some inside Rollers claim that Zapata was the only immediate available candidate. It is claimed that finances also played part in Rollers’ thinking when he was considered. It is widely believed he was getting a lower salary than Kavazovic. Sources point out that Rollers would want Papic to command a salary scale same as Kavasovic but any other changes will be effected if need arises. Kavazovic was earning salary in the region of p50 000 without bonuses.

While Rollers is steadfast on its insistency that nobody is crossing their mind in supplanting Zapata, this publication learns that the Gaborone giants will publicly address the issue as soon as January. A key consideration at the Jagdish Shah driven project is a possible public backlash when it finally agrees with the former Ghanaian coach, who also coached Kaizer Chiefs more especially that it is not clear if he will replicate what Kavasovic has done.

It is in this regard that some within Rollers management would want the team to fight for Zapata for him to stay despite over pouring complains that he has run of ideas before his Rollers journey could begin. They are others who claim that the Serbian ‘DNA’ should be   carried along should Papic be hired. Pound for pound, it is argued that Papic has a more African football experience than both Kavazovic and Zapata, and this will be telling factor working towards him.



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