Mokhothu leaves a huge gap at Li­oli

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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.

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