Linare: The fall of a giant
ONE of the country’s biggest and oldest clubs Linare have been going through a rough period for several years and at some point the team narrowly avoided relegation from the premier league.
This is not good for a club with such a rich history as far as the beautiful game is concerned in the Mountain Kingdom.
And this season, things appear to have gone from bad to worse as the Hlotse side’s struggle for results has been exacerbated by off the field administration problems.
Firstly, it was the resignation of coach Motlatsi Shale two weeks ago, then last week players decided to boycott training, joining their coach’s protest against poor administration at the club.
As if this was not bad enough, the results have not been forthcoming on the field of play as Tse Tala suffered their fourth loss in seven matches going down 1-3 to Kick4life.
This is disturbing and if the club does not get back on their feet soon, they will once again be involved in the relegation dogfight.
I expected the club to become stable after electing new management in 2015, but nothing has changed resulting in the exodus of some of the big name players.
First it was Mabuti Potloane who was so influential when the club nearly ended their long drought for a major trophy during the 2013/14 season. Linare were in the race for the league title as well as the LNIG Top 8. They lost the final to Lioli while Bantu end- ed up winning the league trophy.
For his exploits that season, Potloane was rewarded with the Player of the Season award as he was unstoppable and led by example for Tse Tala.
However, Linare’s lack of ambition which was seen through the failure to improve the squad with top players resulted in Potloane quitting his home team for Matlama in search of trophies.
He was followed by a host of seniors such as Kopano Motaung, Dyke Tšiu and Moorosi Tšiu who had also played an important role in that season.
This is an indication that those that in charge of the team simply lack ambition. That is why the club can no longer retain or attract top players.
Another worrying thing is that Linare is no longer producing exceptional talents like it used to with the likes of Emmanuel ‘Garrincha’ Phamotse, Thulo ‘Magic Touch’ Leboela and more recently Potloane who all came through the ranks at the club.
This is the one area where management needs to put more effort into to enable the club to compete with other big guns.
The sooner management sorts out off the field issues; the better it will be for the stability of the club.
Like I have stated before, for a team that has been around for more than 80 years, it is really embarrassing that Linare last won the league title in 1980.
Motlatsi SHALE instructs Linare players in this file pic.