LDF coach sounds battle cry
Lesotho defence Force (LDF) Football Club coach, Malefetsane Pheko, has called for patience from disgruntled supporters who are unhappy at the team’s apparent waning fortunes.
The army side started the 2014/15 Vodacom Premier League season on a high but lost steam as the campaign reached the halfway mark and took its current festive season break.
After winning their opening five league matches of the season, sohle-sohle, as LDF are affectionately known, have since been knocked off top spot and now occupy third place behind Lioli and Bantu respectively.
A section of the team’s fans are not happy with the turn of events, and have started making noise about this turn of events.
But while Pheko also concedes it has been painful to watch LDF struggling to win their ninth league title and equal Matlama’s all-time record, the club legend still insist the accomplishment is still possible.
Pheko on Monday this week told the Lesotho Times losing steam as the season progresses had become a worrying factor at the club, which used to dominate domestic football in the 1990s.
“during my playing days in the mid-90s, LDF were one of the toughest sides around but for the past six or seven seasons, we have been struggling badly, which has been very painful to watch.
“however, I believe we only need a bit of patience from our fans because I am looking at how best we can re-establish ourselves and start to challenge for honours once again,” Pheko said.
With half the season gone and LDF in third spot on the 14-team table with 27 points following eight wins, three draws and two losses, and leaders Lioli seven points clear while second-placed Bantu also have 27 points but are ahead of sohle-sohle due to a better goal aggregate, Pheko believes there is still enough time to overhaul Tse nala for pole position.
Pheko also says he believes the absence of experienced players, who used to make LDF such a rock in the old days, had contributed to the side’s fall from grace.
“In those days, you would find that we had players joining us from other top teams in the country because they simply wanted to be part of LDF; such was our dominance. These star-players would come with a lot of experience, but this is no longer the case now as we usually get raw players that we have to build from scratch, and to develop them into the class we are looking at, takes time,” said Pheko.
Yet Pheko still believes LDF are still in with a chance to win the Premiership and has vowed to fight to the bitter end to ensure sohlesohle remain in the title-hunt.
“We are still very much in the race for the league title. What has become a problem for us is our frontline.
“The strikers have not been sharp enough of late, so I think that is one of the areas that we must focus on during this festive season break, and ensure we reinforce.
The league title is still within reach, and we believe there is every chance that this could be our year to reclaim lost glory.”
LDF coach Malefetsane Pheko.