Former Township Rollers defender, Edwin Olerile has agreed a short stint with his boyhood club, Township Rollers, having been easily sweet-talked by the team’s influential minds into ignoring less intriguing offers to join the club after Gaborone United released him.
The former Zebras left back had a deal on the table from a low ranked team in First Division together with others in the elite league, but he has been unable to ignore the pull of Rollers, the club at which he seeks to write his name into folklore once and for all. Olerile joins Rollers for the remainder of the season and will be offered a new contract should he impress, reports state.
He had a somewhat bitter sweet season with Gaborone United where he won two Mascom top 8 titles, but began to fall out of favour when new coach, Rudolph Zapata began to take charge. He was deemed surplus to requirement. Olerile will however be guided by a local coach in Mogomotsi Mpote to mount a serious challenge for this year’s silver ware.
Rollers have of course reshuffled their defensive options over a period of time, where Thato Bolweleng and Oscar Ncenga fell heavily under Rollers’ radar. The signing of Mosha Gaolalwe from BDF XI together with that of youngster; Kaone Vander Westhuizen were also done to bring in a summer of change.
Rollers’ technical team complained bitterly this season at the lack of productivity from their defenders but they hope that the ever-consistent Simisane Mathumo and with Olerile in the radar, aided perhaps by veteran; Tshepo Motlhabankwe, who remains on the books, can form a solid shield at the back.
All the while, it remains to be seen if Olerile will command an immediate first-choice berth, but Rollers hopes that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the defensive options, most notably the younger players. Before his fall at GU, he was the captain of the team.
Rollers like any other club have always sought to have leaders in their squad; players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their signing of Mogogi Gabonamong two seasons ago was rooted, in part, by what he could bring away from the field.
Although the player is still on probation, it is said he signed to play not to inspire as he once declared when GU offered him a contract extension, making him the best paid player at Moyagoleele. The club’s sources say that there is no option built into the deal for him to join them after his deal lapses. The club confirmed through their web page that indeed Olerile has joined them for the rest of the season and is expected to bring stability in the team’s defence.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.