Sound planning needed for Likuena
the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last week conducted the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw, which pitted Likuena against Algeria, Ethiopia and minnows seychelles in what is without a very tough group.
the national team will also be taking part in the regional Cosafa tournament that gets underway in South Africa next month while they will also play Botswana in the first round qualifier of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in June.
The fact Likuena will be part of the Cosafa competition scheduled for 17-30 May, with both the Afcon and CHAN qualifiers set to begin the following month says it all — that it’s going to be a hectic period for the players and coaches hence sound preparations would be needed to ensure success on all fronts.
I believe coach Seephephe Matete would want his team to be competitive because Likuena reached the Cosafa semi-finals under Leslie Notši in 2013.
This is why I am saying the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) must have a good plan for the team because all three are crucial competitions which require equal attention.
While the coach has been working with 25 players, I still feel there is room for addi- tions because there are some who have been doing exceptionally well since the squad was announced a couple of weeks ago, but were unlucky to be overlooked at the time.
A young player such as tumelo ‘ stiga’ Kalake is at the peak of his powers at the moment and I feel he deserves a place in the squad, alongside other youngsters who need to be tested at the highest level.
I’m one of those people who feel a good mixture of young and experienced players can do the nation proud as Likuena embarks on a very tough journey that only the best could survive.
Kalake has been very impressive and I see him as a natural replacement for veteran midfielder Bushy Moletsane.
However, I must say, our football association has this tendency of dropping the ball at crucial stages of competitions and wouldn’t want to see our team being affected by offthe-field problems, such as unpaid or late bonuses or allowances, which has happened in the past.
I would have expected the recently introduced ‘code of conduct forms’ national team players are now being obliged to sign, also ensure better allowances for the team.
It came as a real surprise when I learnt that our national team players still each get M150 in allowances a day while outside the country and M100 when camping here at home.
I know our country has not fully recovered from the political instability which has also affected the nation financially, but I expect Lefa to find means and ways to make our players happy by paying them ‘living allowances’.
I’m afraid that if things do not change for the better, then we are headed for disaster once again, where players would strike for better pay at very crucial times.
I seriously feel that players should be kept motivated and happy if we expect to see our team getting positive results against strong teams such as Algeria and ethiopia that are without doubt ahead of us in terms of development.
Algeria are the number One nation on the Confederation of African Football rankings and boast stars who play for top teams in Portugal and Spain.
One thing is for sure — Likuena will have to be ready in all departments to have a successful run in these competitions.
I would also want to congratulate our premier league’s top scorer, Litšepe Marabe, who took his goals tally to 21 this past weekend.
the last time our strikers breached the 20-goal mark was in 2000/1 when Lire Phiri banged in 30 goals for LDF.