I was spot-on with my pre­dic­tion

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

At the start of the sea­son, the Le­sotho Times car­ried a story where i pre­dicted Li­oli would re­tain their league ti­tle and Tse Nala proved me right at the week­end.

i be­lieve it was rel­a­tively easy for one to pick Tse Nala as favourites for the cham­pi­onship due to the qual­ity of their squad.

An­other ad­van­tage the tey­ateya­neng­based side boasted was their coach Mosholu ‘shoes’ Mokhothu had been with the club for some time while the rest of the big guns started the cam­paign with new coaches.

At some point, Li­oli’s goal­keep­ers Kananelo Makhooane and Lite­boho Mokhehle were in Moses Maliehe’s na­tional team while the third goal­keeper, Mo­hau Kue­nane, had also been the coun­try’s first-choice.

the goal­keep­ing depart­ment, on its own, tells a story of a very strong team be­cause it is very rare to find two goal­keep­ers from the same team in the na­tional side at the same time.

i think where Li­oli only fell a bit short was in the strik­ing depart­ment as none of their for­wards were reg­u­lar scor­ers and so couldn’t win the Golden Boot award for the most goals in a sea­son.

How­ever, de­spite their strik­ers’ struggle for con­sis­tency, they still con­trib­uted im­mensely to the cause as did the rest of this star-stud­ded squad.

But among all the 14 teams in the premier league, Mat­lama were my sur­prise pack­age of the sea­son.

Tse Put­soa had a shaky start to the cam­paign but con­tin­ued to grow from strength to strength as the sea­son pro­gressed and ul­ti­mately gave Li­oli a run for their money to the very end, hence their run­ners-up fin­ish.

While i pre­dicted Mat­lama to be in the race for the ti­tle, i never thought they would be that strong.

the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful side did not have the depth Li­oli had, but still man­aged to grind re­sults week-in and week-out and their coach, Maliehe, just like Mokhothu, de­serves credit for the way he man­aged his squad.

some of the play­ers were never reg­u­lars be­fore Maliehe came but when they got the chance, they didn’t dis­ap­point.

one such player was Mote­bang sera, who grabbed that op­por­tu­nity with both hands and re­paid Maliehe’s faith by win­ning the Golden Boot award with 14 goals.

For Bantu, many of their sup­port­ers thought i did not like their team when i said this was go­ing to be a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son for them.

the writ­ing was on the wall for Bantu even be­fore the sea­son started and i could see all was not well in the A Matšo Mate­bele camp.

Their prob­lems were mostly off the field and i could say started when they sacked coach Katiso Mo­jakhomo just seven games into the cam­paign.

It be­came very dif­fi­cult for Bantu to get things back on track as Mot­latsi shale also re­turned to the club, but was sacked shortly af­ter.

the one other team that proved me wrong was sun­dawana. i re­ally didn’t think the club would be good enough for the fourth po­si­tion they man­aged this term.

in my pre­dic­tion, i saw sun­dawana man­ag­ing a top-eight fin­ish but never fourth po­si­tion.

Bob Mafoso proved once again that he is among the best young coaches in the coun­try af­ter lead­ing Lik­ila United to sixth place the pre­vi­ous sea­son — the first time they were play­ing in the elite league.

But for Lik­ila, like i pre­dicted, it is not a sur­prise that they have been rel­e­gated as it was go­ing to take some­thing spe­cial for them to re­peat what they did last sea­son with­out sign­ing top play­ers.

Kick­4life also sur­prised many, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond round of the sea­son

it looks like the ap­point­ment of for­mer Likuena coach, Les­lie Notši, worked magic for the club as they fin­ished the sea­son in a re­spectable 6th po­si­tion.

Among their big­gest achieve­ments this cam­paign, they can boast about com­plet­ing a dou­ble over Bantu.

LCS were also fan­tas­tic in Mpitsa Marai’s first sea­son as the team’s head-coach.

there is noth­ing sur­pris­ing about their sea­son as I had pre­dicted they would fin­ish in fourth po­si­tion. But there was a time Mashesh­ena looked like they would fight for the league ti­tle, but like many of the teams in our league, they had is­sues off the pitch and in the end, this af­fected their per­for­mance and fell by the way side.

For the likes of Likhopo and LDF, it was not hard to pre­dict they would be vy­ing for a top-eight po­si­tion as the two teams are strug­gling to re­turn to their good old days.

For LDF, they have been re­luc­tant to sign top play­ers and did not have enough qual­ity to match the likes of Li­oli and Mat­lama while Likhopo have been los­ing their cream and it was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for them to com­pete for hon­ours.

As for Linare, i never ex­pected the Leribebased side to be as poor as they have been this sea­son.

Tse Tala were very lucky to sur­vive the chop in the end, but for a team with such a big his­tory, were a huge dis­ap­point­ment.

For teams that were in the rel­e­ga­tion zone from word go, it was not sur­pris­ing that Rovers only saved their topflight sta­tus on the last day of the cam­paign.

in the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle, i pre­dicted that Rovers and Liphakoe would go down on the ba­sis that it was never easy for pro­moted sides to hit the ground run­ning and en­dure the rigours of the premier league.

Luck­ily for Liphakoe, they man­aged to get out of the rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight a bit ear­lier while for Rovers, it went to the very last day of the cam­paign to se­cure their topflight sta­tus for an­other sea­son.

At the end, Mphat­lalat­sane and Lik­ila United were booted out of the premier league and wuld be in the A Di­vi­sion next sea­son.

All in all, it was an en­ter­tain­ing cam­paign to the very end and big-ups to Vo­da­com who made it all pos­si­ble for our clubs to com­pete all sea­son with their spon­sor­ship of the league.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.