Maliehe faces mam­moth task to re­build Likuena

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

THE le­sotho Foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion (lefa) has sac­ri­ficed na­tional team in­terim coach, Seep­hephe Matete, for Likuena’s re­cent fail­ures.

Matete has since been re­placed by Moses Maliehe, as lefa seeks to re­vive the na­tional team’s wan­ing for­tunes.

likuena only won three of the 26 matches Matete was in charge since he as­sumed the reins in Fe­bru­ary last year.

lefa had out­lined the coach’s man­date, which in­cluded tak­ing Likuena to the 2015 africa Cup of Na­tions (af­con) tour­na­ment, beat­ing the Co­moros in the pre­lim­i­nary round of the 2018 Fifa World Cup and mak­ing it to next year’s african Na­tions Cham­pi­onship.

How­ever, Matete could man­age nei­ther of th­ese tar­gets, pre­sent­ing lefa with a golden op­por­tu­nity to es­cape the wrath of the fans by mak­ing him the sac­ri­fi­cial lamb for Likuena’s strug­gles.

Granted, likuena’s per­for­mance dur­ing Matete’s ten­ure was un­ac­cept­able, but like I said be­fore, lefa must also take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the team’s dis­mal record.

I still main­tain a coach can­not achieve any­thing if he does not have the full sup­port of the foot­ball mother-body in terms of resources and proper de­vel­op­ment struc­tures, and Matete cer­tainly didn’t have nei­ther of the two.

the key to likuena’s suc­cess will al­ways be sound grass­roots struc­tures ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing com­plete foot­ballers who can com­pete on the big­gest stage, and hope­fully, our foot­ball author­i­ties have learnt this very sim­ple les­son.

as for Maliehe, his jour­ney be­gins with the re­main­ing qual­i­fiers of the 2017 Af­con tour- na­ment in which likuena have al­ready lost to Ethiopia and al­ge­ria.

Maliehe is a big fan of young play­ers so hope­fully, he is go­ing to make the nec­es­sary changes to the team and not only pre­pare for the 2017 Af­con but also the fu­ture.

Of course, this is go­ing to be a new chal­lenge for Maliehe as he has never coached at this level be­fore. How­ever, the good thing is he has been coach­ing the na­tional un­der-20 team and re­cently, likuena’s re­serve side.

Yet for me, it’s not only about likuena, but also club foot­ball which we must be con­cerned about as a na­tion.

We all know clubs like Bantu and Li­oli have im­proved a lot in terms of pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing the way they op­er­ate, but at the same time, it is a fact that our foot­ball is still lag­ging be­hind com­pared to other south­ern african coun­tries.

One of the ma­jor rea­sons for our lack of progress is poor spon­sor­ship be­cause with­out fund­ing, there is no way clubs can im­ple­ment their de­vel­op­ment struc­tures. and with­out th­ese grass­roots plans in place, we won’t be able to in­ject new blood into the na­tional team, which I be­lieve was one of the rea­sons Matete failed to ful­fill his man­date as de­manded by lefa.

again with­out funds, we can­not im­prove our soc­cer fields with­out which our teams will con­tinue to strug­gle be­cause this is a ba­sic ne­ces­sity for the game to reach the re­quired level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

But for the cor­po­rate sec­tor to come to the party, it needs proper en­gage­ment and lefa should en­gage coun­tries which have been highly suc­cess­ful in lur­ing busi­ness into foot­ball and learn how they man­aged to ac­com­plish the feat.

I hope for the sake of the beau­ti­ful game, we will see change that will take our foot­ball to an­other level be­cause there is noth­ing as dis­ap­point­ing as see­ing your team be­ing the laugh­ing stock of the con­ti­nent.

Newly ap­pointed likuena Coach Moses Maliehe.

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