New year brings fresh hope
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 goal.star 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