Mokhothu prov­ing pedi­gree as a coach

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LDF 0-2 Mat­lama, Li­oli 2-0 Mphat­lalat­sane, LMPS 0-1 Rovers, Linare 0-1 kick­4life, Sun­dawana 0-1 Liphakoe, Likhopo 1-0 Bantu, LCS 0-2 Lik­ila United. TWO coaches have al­ready been fired six matches into the 2015/16 Vo­da­com Pre­mier League sea­son.

Katiso Mo­jakhomo was the first to be shown the door at Bantu last week fol­low­ing a string of un­con­vinc­ing dis­plays, while Sun­dawana fol­lowed suit over the week­end by sack­ing Freeze Ntene, also over poor re­sults.

Based on the per­for­mance of th­ese teams, it’s not sur­pris­ing both Mo­jakhomo and Ntene have been re­leased from their con­tracts so early into the sea­son.

i don’t want to dwell too much on the plight of the two but in­stead, fo­cus on a man who con­tin­ues to do so well at club level. in-fact, one is tempted to say he has been the best coach in the coun­try over the last half-a-decade or so, and that man is Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu cur­rently with Li­oli.

Mokhothu has won four league ti­tles since 2008/09 — first as an as­sis­tant at LCS be­fore clinch­ing back-to-back ti­tles with the same Mashesh­ena in 2011/12 and 2012/13 but now as head-coach. The af­fa­ble but no-non­sense coach later moved to Li­oli where he was cham­pion again last sea­son.

Tse Nala are on song as we speak, and look set to re­tain the league cham­pi­onship should they main­tain their cur­rent form.

among many at­tributes, i ad­mire a hum­ble coach with good man-man­age­ment skills be­cause that’s what you need to suc­ceed at big clubs such as Bantu, Li­oli and Mat­lama.

Li­oli might have had the best squad in the league last sea­son, re­sult­ing in the league ti­tle and in­de­pen­dence Cup. How­ever, hav­ing ex­cel­lent play­ers does not guar­an­tee a team sil­ver­ware, which is where good man­age­rial skills come in.

This cam­paign, Tse Nala have added qual­ity play­ers such as Lekhooa Sale­bone, Tume­l­ong khut­lang, Thuso Sup­ing and kananelo Makhooane to their team.

it’s al­ways healthy for a coach to have a big squad of qual­ity play­ers as the league cham­pi­onship is a marathon, while there are also knock­out tour­na­ments as well as con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tions to think of. For in­stance, Li­oli will be play­ing in the african Cham­pi­ons League tour­na­ment next year, hence the ne­ces­sity of such a huge and qual­ity team.

Yet a big squad can also come with many chal­lenges such as indis­ci­pline and di­vi­sions among the play­ers, which could be very costly for the club at the end of the day.

it’s only when you have a char­ac­ter who is re­spected by the play­ers that such things will not be an is­sue, and that is what Mokhothu has brought to Li­oli.

For in­stance, Mokhothu must choose who to play among the three qual­ity goal­keep­ers at his dis­posal — na­tional team first-choice stop­per Mo­hau kue­nane, 2014/15 goal­keeper of the sea­son award-win­ner Lite­boho Mokhehle and new ac­qui­si­tion kananelo Makhooane. Makhooane, who joined the team from Likhopo this sea­son, was once with the na­tional team, Likuena, and is one of the most gifted goal­keep­ers in Le­sotho at the mo­ment.

The big ques­tion since Makhooane joined Li­oli has been how Mokhothu was go­ing to han­dle the pres­sure of choos­ing one goal­keeper over the oth­ers with­out cre­at­ing ten­sion among them.

i think it was only nat­u­ral for fans to ask this ques­tion be­cause such a sit­u­a­tion can bring dishar­mony into a team. How­ever, Shoes has han­dled the is­sue ex­tremely well, ro­tat­ing his play­ers to keep them all happy.

Mokhothu is not only facedd with this chal­lenge in the goal­keepingeping depart­ment as the same goe­ses for the mid­field where se­nior play­ers such as Mot­lalepula Mo­folo, Bushy Mo­let­sane and oth­ers have also had to set­tle for a place on the bench.

That is why i feel Mokhothuhu de­serves credit for the way hee has han­dled his big squad and iss get­ting the best out of the play­

I be­lieve this firm but fair man­age­ment is go­ing to be key when Tse Nala take to the in­ter­na­tion­al­tional stage next year.

Mokhothu is a clas­sic ex­am­ple ple of why a coach must be a role-model,model, hum­ble and lead by ex­am­plele be­cause the re­sults are there for r ev­ery­one to see.

and like Mokhothu, i’m also so im­pressed with new Likhopoo coach, Sha­lane Le­hohla.

The former Likuena, Likhopo and LCS mid­fielder was ap­pointed head-coach at the start of the sea­son and did not have enough time for pre­sea­son train­ing with his new charges.

But the Red army have been un­be­liev­able un­der Le­hohla, and are sec­ond with 14 points on the 14team premier­ship ta­ble, just two points be­hind log-lead­ers Li­oli.

i be­lieve this is their best start in four sea­sons and what makes it even more in­ter­est­ing is Sha­lane’s ad­mis­sion that he is still learn­ing the ropes. i be­lieve this hum­ble at­ti­tude will help him grow and be­come one of the best coaches Le­sotho has ever had.

Un­for­tu­nately,Un f o r t u n a t e l y , we have to end this col­umn on a tragic note fol­low­ing the death of Linare de­fender, Lebo­hang Mata­mane, in a car ac­ci­dent on Sun­day.

Mata­mane passed away a day af­ter play­ing for Tse Tala in their 0-1 loss to kick­4life in Maseru. it is al­ways so sad when a young life is lost, es­pe­cially un­der such cir­cum­stances.

On be­half of the Le­sotho Times’ sports desk, i would there­fore, wish to pass our con­do­lences to the Mata­mane fam­ily. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Rovers mid­fielder Retha­bile Lempe (in front) ba­tles for the ball with LMPS de­fender Solomon Le­fuma in this file pic.

LI­OLI coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu.

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