Mokhothu leaves a huge gap at Lioli
LIOLI’S premier league championship defence got off to a wobbly start with a shock 1-0 defeat to LMPS last Saturday.
The loss capped a very tough week for the Teyateyaneng-based outfit following the stepping down of back-to-back league title-winning coach Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu.
Mokhothu was forced to relinquish the position due to a new requirement for premier league coaches to have at least a B coaching licence.
The void Mokhothu has left is palpable given his sterling achievements for the club.
He ended Lioli’s 24-year wait for a league title when he first won it during the 2008/09 season. Mokhothu subsequently won all the silverware on offer domestically and made Lioli the most successful club in the country over the last five years.
I admire Mokhothu for being a principled and affable professional.
I believe his humility was the reason he connected well with every member of the squad, especially managing egos at the star-studded club.
Mokhothu bows out with his head high given his exploits and, hopefully, he will one day return to the game as head coach. Shoes has certainly been a good servant of the beautiful game in the Mountain Kingdom.
The spotlight has now shifted to his successor, Halemakale Mahlaha, who was previously Lioli’s technical director.
Mahlaha has his work cut out in leading defence of the premier league crown, and only time will tell if he is up to the task.
The loss to LMPS over the weekend immediately put Mahlaha in a precarious situation, with another defeat likely to spell doom for the new gaffer.
Lioli’s few player transfers are also likely to impact heavily on the team’s performances this season.
Basia Makepe re-joined LMPS after a season-long loan spell at Lioli. The defender’s absence is likely to have a telling effect, especially if Tse Nala don’t find a replacement as soon as possible.
The Hlotse-born player is now one of the best and sought-after defenders in the country, and it’s no surprise he bears the captain’s armband for both club and country.
Mahlaha’s first port of call is to win over the Lioli dressing room so he can relay his roadmap for the title defence.
The togetherness and cohesion we have seen at Lioli over the last few years was certainly lacking during the loss to LMPS. It’s a problem the new coach must fix as soon as possible to get the team back on track.
Lioli head coach Halemakale Mahlaha.
FORMER Lioli head coach Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu.