Notši back in busi­ness

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

For­mer na­tional team coach Les­lie Notši has re­placed mot­lalepula ma­joro as Kick­4life head-coach.

Kick­4life Di­rec­tor of Foot­ball, Chris Bul­lock, an­nounced Notši’s ap­point­ment at a press con­fer­ence held in maseru on mon­day.

Bul­lock said the 50-year-old for­mer mat­lama goal­keeper would be in charge of the team un­til the end of the sea­son, adding how­ever, there was a pos­si­bil­ity he could stay longer.

“I am proud to wel­come our new coach, Les­lie Notši, who does not need any in­tro­duc­tion to lo­cal foot­ball,” Bul­lock said. “He re­places ma­joro, who re­signed last week, and I will not go into de­tails about it.”

Bul­lock fur­ther said the club was hon­oured to have a coach of Notši’s ex­pe­ri­ence. In ad­di­tion to coach­ing the na­tional team, mat­lama and Li­oli, Notši also had stints at the helm of two South African first divi­sion teams, Garankuwa United and mthata Bucs in 2004 and 2015, re­spec­tively.

“We are very ex­cited to have such a coach at our club. He joins us on a short-term deal un­til the end of the sea­son. Hope­fully, we can be able to ex­tend the con­tract be­yond this sea­son,” said Bul­lock.

“Notši has al­ways been my firstchoice coach in this coun­try, but he has been un­avail­able due to other com­mit­ments.

“He brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence into our team, hav­ing worked with our na­tional teams at both ju­nior and se­nior level, as well as in South Africa. It did not take long to con­vince him to join us and we are de­lighted he is here to­day.”

Bul­lock also said Notši’s man­date is to make sure Kick­4life end the sea­son among the top-eight sides on the 14-team premier league ta­ble. Kick­4life were 10th at the end of their first sea­son in the topflight league in 2014/15, and missed out on the lu­cra­tive Top4 and Top8 tour­na­ments.

“His cur­rent deal will run un­til the end of the sea­son, but our man­date has not changed from what we ex­pected from the pre­vi­ous coach; the tar­get is still to be in the topeight on the log at the end of the pro­gramme.”

on his part, Notši said he was ex­cited with the new chal­lenge.

“Luck­ily, I have watched a few matches and I know what to ex­pect in the new job as far as the league is con­cerned,” Notši said.

“I am con­fi­dent it will not take me long to get into gear and I feel the club’s man­date is quite rea­son­able. In fact, look­ing at it, I think the team has not set their goal too high.”

Notši fur­ther said he took the Kick­4life job be­cause of the team’s vi­sion and phi­los­o­phy of fo­cus­ing on the youth.

“I liked the setup at the club es­pe­cially their pas­sion to de­velop young play­ers, which is some­thing that has al­ways been close to my heart,” Notši said.

Asked if tak­ing the Kick­4life job was not a step back­wards af­ter work­ing as na­tional team coach and in South Africa where the game is pro­fes­sional, the for­mer Likuena goal­keeper said: “Kick­4life is a grow­ing brand with the po­ten­tial to be­come a house­hold name.

I would say Kick­4life came at the right time. my bat­ter­ies had been recharged since part­ing ways with mthatha Bucs (in Septem­ber this year).

“As for the team, we will as­sess it and sit down with man­age­ment to see which ar­eas need strength­en­ing dur­ing the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.”

Notši is one of Le­sotho’s most re­spected foot­ball coaches and af­ter leav­ing Li­oli, he joined the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion as na­tional un­der-20, u/23 and later Likuena coach.

He led the un­der-20 side, makoanyane XI, to the 2011 African Youth Cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment and also guided Likuena to a fourth-place fin­ish at the 2013 Cosafa tour­na­ment held in Zam­bia.

In 2014, Notši quit Likuena and joined Garankuwa United but left the team fol­low­ing a poor run of re­sults. Af­ter spend­ing time out of full­time foot­ball man­age­ment, Notši joined mthata Bucs in Au­gust this year, but quit the team due to in­fight­ing within man­age­ment which saw his goal­keep­ers’ coach be­ing shot and hos­pi­talised.

Notši told the Le­sotho Times at the time that some club of­fi­cials and fans did not wel­come his ap­point­ment as head-coach of the east Lon­don-based first divi­sion rook­ies, and pre­ferred his pre­de­ces­sor, Julius Dube, who had led the team to the coun­try’s se­cond-tier league.

New Kick­4life coach Les­lie Notši (left) is un­veiled by Kick­4life Di­rec­tor of Fooot­ball Chris Bul­lock on Mon­day.

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