Maliehe re­ju­ve­nated Mat­lama

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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.

Ke­fuoe Mahula

Mote­bang Sera.

Li­oli coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu

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