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Cracks in the Popa throne

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Cracks in the Popa throne
DIVIDED: Kavazovic and Mpote

Teenage Mpote linked with Police XI

A storm is brewing within the Top 8 Champions and CAF Champions League history makers Township Rollers’ technical team.

Voice Sport has learnt that there’s a rift between head Coach Nikola Kavazovic and his assistant Teenage Mpote.

Of late Mpote hardly seats on the bench amidst allegations of a fallout with the Serbian mentor.

The Voice has learnt that the two men have clashed a couple of times on tactical issues.

Mpote who defended the league title last season after the departure of Briton Mark Harrison was overlooked by Rollers Management in favour of the Serbian who was given a one year contract.

Mpote reportedly was not happy with Kavazovic’s decision to deploy players on their less preferred positions as he felt it disrupted the flow of play.

He complained about natural central defender Simisani Mathumo playing right back, with Tshepo ‘Talk Talk’ Mothabankwe playing centrally.

Mpote was also apparently opposed to Tshepo Matete’s deployment as a left back.

However Kavazovic allegedly reminded him that he was the boss and his decisions are final.

The Serbian also decided to offload veteran striker Jerome Ramathakwana against Mpote’s advise.

“He has since been sidelined and never contributes in any technical decision, he just goes to the ground to watch training and then goes back home,” a close source told The Voice.

The rift played itself out a fortnight ago when Rollers were crowned Mascom Top 8 champions.

When players and the technical team rushed to celebrate together Mpote headed straight to the dressing room.

On the match sheet Mpote appeared as Technical Director while former defender Leutwetse Tshireletso was the Assistant Coach.

“It is bad so much that Kavazovic has once asked us never to talk to Mpote as he was the one in charge. There was a point we thought of sabotaging him by losing games to get him fired. It was Teenage who begged us not to do it,” said one of the players.

Kavazovic’s recent twitter post praising Tshireletso was seen as another attempt to further alienate Mpote. He wrote on his Twitter handle.

“Botswana has a rising coach definitely one for the future – Leu Tshireletso, an amazing gifted tactician, charismatic, quick decision maker, authoritative. All the best Leu! And am happy to have him next to (me),”

Rollers Public Relations Officer Phempheretlhe Pheto could not confirm nor deny the allegations.

Asked about Mpote’s recent link to Police XI Pheto said they are not aware of it.

When reached for a comment Mpote referred all the questions to management.

He did confirm that he received offers from different teams but he declined them because his contract with Popa is still valid.