Sound plan­ning needed for Likuena

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.