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Kavazovic wants Rollers’ Mathumo

Publishing Date : 21 January, 2019

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Former Township Rollers head coach, Nikola Kavazovic is trying to convince his new club Free State Stars’ hierarchy to sign hard tackling Botswana international Simisane Mathumo.


The Rollers centre back played a pivotal role under Kavazovic’s tutelage in one of Mapalastina’s most successful seasons in history.  The Serbian dreams of another opportunity to re-unite with the defender who is also captains the Senior National team popularly known as The Zebras. The unanticipated development appears to have intrigued Mathumo who in 2017 saw his dream of playing professional football going up in smoke. He was close to signing for Ajax Cape Town before the management dismissed him on account that his football techniques were sub-standard.


The former Ajax head coach Stanley Menzo was believed to have been worried that although Mathumo was intelligent and gifted in his own right, he could not showcase individual expertise and industrial class that he was looking for from a foreign quality defender. It was indicated to this publication that Mathumo was not yet the right player to give other available Ajax defenders a run for their money.


“They wanted someone who can give attackers a hard time; somebody who is good on and off the ball... and it seemed Mathumo was not the type. They were earnestly looking for someone who could pass the ball well outside of the box and it was doubtful on Mathumo after attending his trial games,” information said. Information continued to suggest that there was a conflict because the management was happy with the player while the coach shook his head in disagreement. It was said the coach was of the view that the player was very slow and his shooting technique was mediocre.


However, Mathumo is viewed by some as a player who possesses what it takes to be a well-rounded defender. They believe that he has all the qualities of a central defender. Positional discipline, good timing, reading of the game, aerial strength and being vocal are some factors scrutinized before acquiring a central defender. His partnership with Mogogi Gabonamong, for two seasons, has undoubtedly seen Rollers leaking few goals at the back.


On the other hand, speculation is rife that Kavazovic will also fight hard and long to import Botswana players into South African football market, especially those who were playing for Rollers. The name of Segolame Boy is expected to follow suit, should Mathumo succeed in getting a move to Ella Koto. Kavazovic was employed by Free State stars in the beginning of January to help stir the club out of relegation. The Serbian mentor has to this date played two games; losing his first match against Bidvest Wits and winning the other against Maritzburg United.


When reached for clarity, Rollers club media liaison officer, Phempherethe Pheto acknowledged to have heard rumours surrounding Mathumo’s international move but he was quick to state that the executive committee of the club is yet to meet to discuss the club’s internal issues including Mathumo‘s case. “I have been out of the country but I can tell you that I have heard about Free State Stars’ interest in Mathumo. We are still to meet as the executive committee, but as you know, our team has never stood on the way of a player as they so desire to move abroad,” Pheto said.

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