Bantu coach vows to re­store glam­our

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

MAFETENG — Newly ap­pointed Bantu coach, Tsatsi James Ma­didi­lane, says he wel­comes his first coach­ing job in Le­sotho “with both hands”.

The 30-year-old South African and his as­sis­tant Bob Mafoso were un­veiled as A Matšo Mate­bele coaches on Mon­day this week af­ter sign­ing one-year per­for­mance-based con­tracts. Ma­didi­lane, who played for Bloem­fontein Celtic, Thanda Royal Zulu and Mar­itzburg as a de­fender be­tween 2007 and 2011, told the Le­sotho Times soon af­ter Mon­day’s un­veil­ing cer­e­mony that he joined Bantu be­cause he be­lieved in the club’s po­ten­tial.

“I am glad Bantu gave me this chance and I am also happy with the con­fi­dence the man­age­ment has shown in me and my as­sis­tant, Bob. We are aware the team didn’t per­form well last sea­son but I ac­cepted the of­fer be­cause I be­lieve in this team and I am very hope­ful that we can turn things around here,” Ma­didi­lane said.

Ntate Moruti, as Ma­didi­lane is fa­mously known in foot­ball cir­cles, said he also ac­cepted the of­fer be­cause he needed to grow as a coach.

“I have worked with a num­ber of teams in the South African lower leagues — the likes of Roses United and Celtic’s devel­op­ment side — so this is also a chance for me to grow as a coach. I don’t know much about the Le­sotho premier league but one thing I have seen is there is fierce com­pe­ti­tion here and I think that will help me get bet­ter as a coach.”

Ma­didi­lane said the first is­sue to be ad­dressed was in­still­ing con­fi­dence in the play­ers.

“Like I said, we are aware the team didn’t do well last sea­son so ob­vi­ously, the play­ers’ con­fi­dence is low and that’s one of the things we should start work­ing on when we open for pre-sea­son train­ing on Mon­day next week,” he said.

Asked if he was not wor­ried about the age-dif­fer­ence be­tween him and the play­ers some of whom are even older than him, Ma­didi­lane said this was not an is­sue.

“I have worked with old and very ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers be­fore — the likes of for­mer Uganda goal­keeper Post­net Omony. So this doesn’t worry me at all. But one thing I must say is I was not called Ntate Moruti for noth­ing. To me, dis­ci­pline comes first for ev­ery player. The play­ers should un­der­stand that they are not do­ing us any favour but them­selves be­cause it is only if they work hard that they may end up in the na­tional team.

“I want play­ers who are pre­pared to work hard and if not, it’s un­for­tu­nate be­cause such play­ers will watch from the stands,” said Ma­didi­lane.

“In at least five matches we are go­ing to play, we must col­lect a min­i­mum of 10 points. That’s how I want us to work with the team then we will see where that leaves us at the end of the sea­son.”

On his part, Mafoso, who was coach­ing Sun­dawana last sea­son, thanked the Bantu sup­port­ers for their warm wel­come and said it was only with their help that they can re­vive the team.

“It was not an easy de­ci­sion to make but I be­lieve it is good for me as I will be learn­ing many things here be­cause Bantu are a big team with lots of sup­port­ers. I would like to thank the fans for the warm wel­come we re­ceived to­day. It is with their sup­port that we can help this team get back where it used to be,” Mafoso said.

Bantu pres­i­dent Leuta Leuta ex­plained why the club man­age­ment de­cided to en­gage the two coaches.

“We are a big brand with many spon­sors and to keep them, we need to win ti­tles. That is why we de­cided to hire these two gentle­men be­cause they are big coaches we be­lieve can help this team re­turn to its glory days,” Leuta said.

Leuta also said they were helped by Bloem­fontein Celtic to get Ma­didi­lane through the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing they signed last sea­son.

“We have a signed agree­ment with Celtic which says our clubs will work to­gether and Ma­didi­lane’s move is the first of many great things to come out of it be­cause he was still their devel­op­ment team coach,” he said.

“We brought in Bob to help him be­cause we are aware he is not fa­mil­iar with how things are done in our league so we also had to look for a good coach who can work with him.”

FROM left: Bantu vice-pres­i­dent Molefi Len­goasana, as­sis­tant coach Bob Mafoso, pres­i­dent Leuta Leuta and newly-ap­pointed coach Tsatsi James Ma­didi­lane.

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