Hlo­jeng ap­pointed Mphat­lalat­sane pres­i­dent

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

FORMER na­tional team cap­tain, Tšepo Hlo­jeng, has been el­e­vated from coach to pres­i­dent of Mphat­lalat­sane Foot­ball Club. Hlo­jeng, who played for clubs such as Rovers and LCS, said his de­ci­sion to take an ad­min­is­tra­tive role at the St Mon­ica’s-based team, was mo­ti­vated by fi­nan­cial strug­gles which nearly saw his home side be­ing rel­e­gated from the premier­ship last sea­son.

“I would say the de­ci­sion to change my role at the club came af­ter analysing the per­for­mance of the team last sea­son and re­al­is­ing that lack of re­sources and sound ad­min­is­tra­tion was the main rea­son for the strug­gles,” Hlo­jeng said this week.

“This is how the team ended up giv­ing me this re­spon­si­bil­ity of lead­ing the club in or­der to ad­dress prob­lems which have hurt the de­vel­op­ment of Mphat­lalat­sane FC.”

How­ever, Hlo­jeng said coach­ing re­mained his pas­sion more than ad­min­is­tra­tion and be­lieves he would re­turn to the pro­fes­sion in the near fu­ture.

“The most im­por­tant thing at this stage is the sta­bil­ity and growth of the team as we could no long cater and look af­ter our play­ers who are now all over the coun­try look­ing for greener pas­tures,” said Hlo­jeng.

Hlo­jeng, who was na­tional team cap­tain when they reached their first-ever fi­nal of the re­gional COSAFA tour­na­ment in 2000, said Mo­jalefa Ko­bisa would be the new coach, as­sisted by Thabo Te­jane.

“The new coach has been my as­sis­tant at the club be­fore and we felt that he was the right man to take over.

“For now, my fo­cus is on bring­ing sta­bil­ity to the team and mo­bil­is­ing sup­port be­cause that’s what you need to build a brand and at­tract spon­sors.”

Ac­cord­ing to Hlo­jeng, for a club to at­tract spon­sor­ship, it must have a huge sup­port base.

“Un­less we have a good sup­port base to brand this team, it will be very dif­fi­cult to sell this prod­uct which is Mphat­lalat­sane FC.

“I think by virtue of play­ing topflight foot­ball, hav­ing solid man­age­ment, be­ing ac­count­able and also pos­sess­ing a good sup­port base, we can be able to make this team a suc­cess story fi­nan­cially.”

Hlo­jeng fur­ther said the other wor­ry­ing fac­tor is that the club was fail­ing to have home­grown ta­lent in its ranks.

“It’s very un­usual be­cause in the past, 90 per­cent of the play­ers in this team were from St Mon­ica’s, but this is no longer the case, and we need to cor­rect this.”

Af­ter work­ing for com­pa­nies such as Letšeng Di­a­monds, where he was CSRI and pub­lic Re­la­tions Ad­min­is­tra­tor, as well as the Le­sotho na­tional olympic Com­mit­tee (Lnoc), the former de­fender be­lieves he now has the nec­es­sary man­age­rial skills to pre­side over Mphat­lalat­sane.

MPHAT­LALAT­SANE FC pres­i­dent tšepo hlo­jeng.

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