Bantu in tur­moil

Un­der­per­form­ing se­nior play­ers face the boot Coach­ing depart­ment to un­dergo yet an­other shakeup

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Moorosi Tsiane

Bantu will off­load un­der­per­form­ing se­nior play­ers next month as the 2013/14 premier league cham­pi­ons des­per­ately seek to end their shock­ing slump in form.

The Mafeteng out­fit have lost their last four league matches by iden­ti­cal 1-0 mar­gins and go to the mid­sea­son break lan­guish­ing in sev­enth po­si­tion on the 14-team premier­ship ta­ble.

In­sid­ers told the Le­sotho Times that the play­ers have split into two camps in sup­port of their pre­ferred of­fi­cials, re­sult­ing in dishar­mony which is now un­rav­el­ing on the pitch.

Ac­cord­ing to the sources, the sit­u­a­tion is so tense it could see head-coach Mot­latsi Shale leav­ing the club be­fore the se­cond round of the sea­son be­gins late next month.

Shale re­turned to Bantu last month and re­placed Katiso Mo­jakhomo who was fired due to poor re­sults. How­ever, Shale — who helped Bantu to their first premier league ti­tle in 2013/14 but left the team be­fore the start of the cur­rent cam­paign af­ter man­age­ment re­fused to re­new his con­tract—has lost all the four matches he has been in charge.

But while club pres­i­dent Leuta John Leuta has down­played re­ports of un­rest at the club, he con­cedes the poor form has to end sooner rather than later.

“It is in­deed frus­trat­ing to see the team in this state, but what I can prom­ise our sup­port­ers is they are go­ing to see many changes when the se­cond round re­sumes next month. We are go­ing to make changes in our tech­ni­cal depart­ment while we will also be re­leas­ing some play­ers who have be­come so com­fort­able at the club sim­ply be­cause they have been here for a long time,” Leuta said.

“If you look at our team, we have so many play­ers who have been with us for so long or who have won sev­eral ti­tles with us. As a re­sult, th­ese play­ers have lost that de­sire which used to make us such a force so the only thing that needs to be done is to get rid of them while oth­ers are go­ing to be asked to ac­count for this poor form.

“We al­ready have young play­ers from our feeder team, Mafeteng Stars, who have been train­ing with the se­nior side so they will start play­ing when the se­cond round gets un­der­way.

“This is a big team and we can’t fin­ish the league out­side the top four. We had a meet­ing with our sup­port­ers yes­ter­day; we lis­tened to their griev­ances and promised to work on them to re­store this team’s pride.”

Leuta, who is also the premier league chair­per­son, said the play­ers had been given time-off but re­turn to train­ing on 4 Jan­uary. He how­ever, dis­missed claims that the coach­ing depart­ment, man­age­ment and play­ers had been split into feud­ing camps.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­sid­ers who spoke to the Le­sotho Times, the pres­ence of club leg­end Lehlo­honolo Seema, who was ap­pointed tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor last month, had cre­ated ten­sion in the team. Seema is with South African premier league out­fit, Bloem­fontein Celtic, where he is Head of Youth De­vel­op­ment.

Seema (35) also played for Celtic be­fore leav­ing for Or­lando Pi­rates in a sen­sa­tional ca­reer which made him one of Le­sotho’s most fa­mous foot­ballers.

“I don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple can think Seema is the prob­lem in this team,” Leuta said.

“He has been with us for a long time and is do­ing a great job for the team. Yes, some­times he con­ducts train­ing but that only hap­pens when he has been asked to help by the coaches; he does not im­pose him­self on the team,” said Leuta.

Leuta also de­nied that goal­keeper Lite­boho Mokhesi had de­serted the team be­cause of the al­leged dishar­mony.

“I wasn’t even aware that peo­ple were think­ing that Mokhesi had de­serted the team be­cause of the poor re­sults. What I know is he told us that he would not be avail­able af­ter the Liphakoe match (in Oc­to­ber) and would only re­turn when the se­cond round of the sea­son re­sumes. So this is­sue that he has de­serted the team is not true at all,” Leuta said.

File pic­ture: Bantu play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter be­ing crowned 2015 Top4 cham­pi­ons last month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.