New year brings fresh hope

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

THE ad­vent of the new year brings with it re­newed hope within the sport­ing fra­ter­nity, par­tic­u­larly given our un­der­whelm­ing per­for­mance at the big stage in 2014. Pre­mier league cham­pi­ons, Bantu, have a chance to right the wrongs of 2014 as they foray into con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball at club level.the Mafeteng-based side were drawn against Man­gas­port of Gabon at the pre­lim­i­nary stage of the African Cham­pi­ons league set to begin in Fe­bru­ary.the im­mense po­ten­tial in our teams is ev­i­dent, although it has yet to trans­late into sub­stance, given the ag­o­nis­ing fail­ure to get past the pre­lim­i­nary rounds of tour­na­ments for al­most two decades now.

The last team to make any head­way on the big stage is the now de­funct Ar­se­nal which man­aged to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals of the con­ti­nen­tal club com­pe­ti­tion.

Our teams have a ten­dency to fare very poorly away and per­form rel­a­tively well at home. As a re­sult, more of­ten than not it has re­sulted in ag­gre­gate losses.i can only hope it will be a dif­fer­ent story for Bantu this year, although their thin squad, which ev­i­dently needs re­in­force­ment, is al­ready a wor­ry­ing sign.

To their credit, Mat­latsi Shale’s side is teem­ing with ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, and based on the per­for­mances we have seen from Bantu over the last three years, there is rea­son to be­lieve they are ad­e­quately pre­pared for the tie against Man­gas­port.

The Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Lefa) also be­gins the new year with a new tech­ni­cal direc­tor in Lehlo­honolo Thotanyana.while his ap­point­ment has been met with the ex­pec­ta­tion that his vast ex­pe­ri­ence and knowhow will im­prove our game, it should be borne in mind that he can­not do it alone and will need the sup­port of his bosses to suc­ceed.

Thotanyana’s is a very key po­si­tion in foot­ball which will also need the Lefa ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee to come to the party for tech­ni­cal direc­tor’s of­fice to func­tion prop­erly.

There will also be a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing our na­tional foot­ball team such as the re­turn­ing Se­nior COSAFA Cup which of­fers our sil- ver­ware hun­gry na­tion a chance to shine at the re­gional level.

Lo­cal ath­let­ics body, Le­sotho Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (LAAA), also has a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties lined up for 2015 and we hope they will give our sportsper­sons the nec­es­sary sup­port to do well in such com­pe­ti­tions as the All Africa Games set for the DR Congo and the World Cham­pi­onships to be staged in China later this year.

Lo­cal ath­letes also have a task on their hands in their bid to make the team for next year’s Olympic Games set for Rio De Janeiro in Brazil.

It goes with­out say­ing that they will also need all the sup­port they can get to achieve that sprinter, Mos­ito Le­hata, nar­rowly missed on a medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow last year and, hope­fully, 2015 will be the year he fi­nally breaks on the global stage.

Lefa’s Newly-ap­pointed tech­ni­cal Direc­tor Lehlo­hololo thotanyane

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