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Nato is game about his Rollers revival

Nato is game about his Rollers revival
January 22
13:21 2018
  • Bright says the midfielder will be keenly watched for a return to the Zebras

Tlotlo Kebinakgabo

Former vice captain of the national team and Township Rollers player Ofentse Nato says he is not under pressure to return to the Zebras.

The 28-year old midfielder has been inactive since 2015 after his contract with Indian top flight football side, Atletico De-Kolkata, elapsed. His plan to ply his trade in the local football was caught in a defaulter controversy about his eligibility to play after he was registered outside the transfer window and failed.

Despite being inactive in club football at the time, Nato kept getting national team call-ups until then Zebras mentor, Peter Butler, dropped him for fitness issues last year amid chronicles that he had reported for camp drunk.

Nato’s inactivity on the pitch was mercifully ended when he penned a two-year contract with BTC premiership defending champions Township Rollers in December last year.

Quizzed about his national team plans since he was now back in action, Nato told Global Sport that he was under no enormous pressure to return to the Zebras. “My focus is to perform well for my club because doing so will enhance my chances of making it back into the national squad,” he said before upped the ante.

“I do not remember saying I had retired from international football,” he pointed out, if a bit naughtily and somewhat haughtily. “If I get a call-up, I’m gonna go for it with both feet so to speak. But for now I just want to help my team win trophies.”

He went on to say how happy to be back on the field after lying fallow for what seemed an eternity. “I would like to thank Rollers for making my return possible,” he said. “They have shown confidence in me even though my first game for them is not one to remember because we lost our first encounter of the season. But still I am glad that we are turning things around and are beginning to register wins again.”

Meanwhile, Zebras head coach David Bright, who once reportedly expressed concerned over Nato’s ‘hibernation,’ has welcomed the lanky midfielder’s resurfacing and thanked Rollers for giving him a chance to revive his career. “He is an experienced player who can be useful to us,” said Bright.

“But he will have to work hard to make it back to the national team again. We will monitor in the same way that we watch other players and are likely to give him a chance when we think he is in the right shape. We would also like to thank Rollers for giving him a chance to revive his career. That’s their contribution to the national team.”

Nato is one of the players who were influential in the Zebras qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. His ‘hibernation’ has led commentators to hazard that he could be the missing link in the chain of the national team.

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