Matete sets sights on top four

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

MATLAMA coach Seep­hephe Matete ( pic­tured) is op­ti­mistic that the ac­qui­si­tion of a few more qual­ity play­ers will help his side se­cure at least a top four fin­ish in the 2017/2018 Vo­da­com Premier League sea­son. Af­fec­tion­ately known as ‘Tse Put­soa’, Matlama are the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful side with nine league ti­tles. How­ever, they have found the go­ing tough in the past few sea­sons and they will be hop­ing for an im­proved 2017/2018 sea­son. They have been hard at work in their pre-sea­son with new faces in­clud­ing their for­mer mid­fielder Pali Tša­long who was un­avail­able last sea­son due to work com­mit­ments and Lisema Le­bokol­lane who re­cently re­turned af­ter com­plet­ing his stud­ies at Lerotholi Polytech­nic. In ad­di­tion, Matete said the club was in talks to bring the in-de­mand Nzenze Nkulu who scored 17 goals and nar­rowly missed out on last sea­son’s golden boot by one goal. The Con­golese for­ward played for Linare in the pre­vi­ous cam­paign while on loan from Bantu and Matete said they were keen on adding him to their squad as he was al­ready train­ing with them. “It is nor­mal with ev­ery team that around this time there are new faces be­ing as­sessed to re­in­force the squad,” Matete said.

“We have new faces at the club to im­prove com­pe­ti­tion among our play­ers so that they can help the team im­prove their po­si­tion in the league.

“There are few play­ers that are back at the club af­ter loan spells due to school com­mit­ments such as Le­bokol­lane who was study­ing and play­ing for Lerotholi Polytech­nic.

“There is also Tša­long who we are assess­ing be­cause we be­lieve his ex­pe­ri­ence will be vi­tal and we will give feed­back on him af­ter a month. There is also Se­likoe Mokhothu who was on loan at Sky Bat­tal­ion last sea­son.

“We will also loan out and re­lease those that do not fit into our plans.”

Matete, a Matlama leg­end from his play­ing days and dif­fer­ent spells as coach of the club, said he was con­fi­dent that his charges would im­prove on last sea­son’s eighth place fin­ish now that he had had pre-sea­son with them.

“It is very easy for any coach to take the blame when things do not go well when they have had pre-sea­son with the play­ers.”

He said would leave with­out be­ing pushed out if Matlama was not among the top four at the end of the 2017/18 sea­son be­cause he would have failed the club.

“I am very happy with how things are go­ing be­cause I have had pre-sea­son with the team and brought the play­ers that I want to beef up the squad.

“So we will con­tinue to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and add more faces to make the squad stronger.

“Our tar­get is not to win the league but to be among the top four teams.”

He said it was only af­ter achiev­ing a top four fin­ish that the league be­came a tar­get.

“Teams like Bantu and Li­oli will be tar­get­ing the ti­tle from the start be­cause they were in first and sec­ond place.

“So if I can­not chal­lenge for a po­si­tion among the top four I will have failed and leave with­out be­ing asked to do so,” he said.

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