Maliehe rejuvenated Matlama
league and every team deserves respect so our preparations for the match will be intense — the same way we have done throughout the season,” said Mokhothu.
“When i took over this team three seasons ago, my plan was to dominate for over five years. That is why i had a good mix of young and experienced players.
“i believe everything is going according to plan, but we need to maintain the standards and finish the job we started this season because the journey is not yet over.”
For his part, Matlama coach, Moses Maliehe, admitted the loss against Lioli was painful to take.
“We were very disappointed and hurt with that loss to Lioli because we wanted to win the match to boost our chances of winning the league title,” Maliehe said.
“But there is nothing we can do about it now and must do our best in the remaining games.
“i have not really lost hope because football is full of surprises and anything can still happen in these two remaining matches.”
Maliehe, who is also the national team interim coach, said his charges face an equally tough match against LCS which they have to win and then capitalize on any slip-ups Lioli might make.
“We know LCS are also wounded after they lost their last two games, but we will go there and fight.
“Even if we don’t win the league, i will still be proud of our achievements this season,” Maliehe said.
Asked if he would continue with Matlama beyond this season af- MATLAMA might not winw the premier league championship t this season especially after Saturday Saturday’s loss to titlerivals Lioli. The loss gave TseTs Nala a big boost to retain theirthe title as the topflight league heads into its last two matc matches of the season son. Yet et this h has been a season we saw the revival of a giant thatth had become ordinary over the last few year years. i mustmus admit i did not see Tse Putsoa challeng challenging for the league titlet when the season started, but credit mustm go to coach Moses Maliehe who managed to make Matlama such a force in his first season in charge of the team. Tse Putsoa s supporters can now talk about theirth team with pride and have also beenbe able to attend their matches in numbers, all thanks to what MalieheMalie has brought to the table. Some people werewe not happy when the club agre agreed to let iconic defender, Nkau Lerotholi,L leave for LMPS at the s start of the second round of the s season, but Maliehe has since provedpr it is not about individuals,individuals but the team as a unit, which brings the desired results. Players like KefuoeK Mahula and Motebang Sera had struggled to hold regular plac places in the Matlama starting line-u line-up since coming through the ranks, but these two were among players g given the platform to play regular foo football this season by Maliehe and they never disappointed hence Matlama’s seconds position as we head towards the end o of the season. Both players have since e earned call-ups to the national team, which s shows Maliehe managed to empower players who were just squad-members until his arriv arrival at the club. For Sera, not only has he b become a regu-
LCS v Matlama, LMPS v Likila United, Lioli v Rovers. Sunday: Linare v Mphatlalatsane, Likhopo v Kick4life, Sundawana v Bantu, Liphakoe v LDF. Y . lar player this season, but he is also on the verge erge of winning the Golden Boot t award come end of the campaign aign as he leads the charts s with 12 goals.
This has alsoo been the season Tšeliso o Ramathe lived up to the potential he showed as a young ung player.
The former national under-17 captain enjoyedd playing alongside Lerotholi in n the heart of the Matlama defence, but also held his own wn after the departure of the veteran defender.
As much as s it disappointing to Matlama supporters that t chances of their beloved ved club winning a historic toric 10th league championship mpionship might be over, er, they should nevertheless, ertheless, be very proud that after years strugglingggling to challenge for honours, they finally have ve a team that has what it takes to compete against ainst any side in the league.ue.
No one gave ve their youthful squad a chance at the start off the season, but Malieheliehe believed in his playerslayers and made them believe in also themselves. What Matlama should now do is to make sure that they add more faces to their squad so that whoever will be coaching the team next season — that is if Maliehe decides to take up the national team job on a fulltime basis — has a big pool of players. Like i have said before, it is always entertaining when you have all the big guns in the mix as far as competing for honours is concerned because it really is a disgrace that such a big team has not won the league title since the 2009/10 season. on the other hand, i think what has helped Lioli become such a competitive side over recent years is the depth in talent in their squad and Matlama should also have a big team that can sustain them all season.
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