Lesotho: Coaches Have Never Been Lioli's Problem

25 February 2020

WHEN Mosholi Mokhothu was Lioli coach, a spell that lasted four years, Tse Nala were nearly invincible, winning almost every trophy in our domestic league.

During this period, Lioli tormented opponents not only with fluid passing and high pressing football but also individual prowess from the likes of Tšoanelo Koetle, Tšepo Seturumane, Tumelo Khutlang and Bushy Moletsane among others.

Lioli would hardly lose three matches in all competitions throughout the season at the time.

This was a team that used to dominate the local league having won more titles than any other in the last eight years. They won three league titles, (2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16), three Independence Cup titles (2014/15, 2016/17 and 2018/19) and won the LNIG Top8 thrice in 2013/14, 2015/16 and 2018/19.

The dominance was to be joined by Bantu and the two sides shared among themselves all local trophies until the 2016/17 season when Lioli's problems started.

One of the reasons Lioli and Bantu dominated at the time was because its sound and clear management strategies.

As a result, the two sides have been getting most sponsorships than any other in the league making them the top paying teams aside from government institution teams like LCS, LDF and LMPS.

Unfortunately, since 2016 things took a different turn for Tse Nala and they have been struggling chopping and changing coaches almost every season.

From Mokhothu Lioli were coached by Halemakale Mahlaha, Motebang Makhetha, Morena Ramorebodi, Lehlohonolo Thotanyana and Thabile Secker. Now Ramorebodi has returned for a second stint.

The Teyateyaneng outfit has in the process lost key players among them Bokang Sello, Koetle, Khutlang, Seturumane, Liteboho Mokhehle, Mohau Kuenane, Nkoto Masoabi, Lekhanya Lekhanya, Kopano Tseka and Jerry Kamela. All these were senior national team players and Lioli hasn't done much to replace them with the same quality. Unfortunately, it was the coaches who have been sacrificed.

Philosophies and tactics from a competent coach are extremely important they are not enough to ensure success. Philosophies are ideas but to bring them to life and to have a maximum effect, a great coach must have good players to ensure that his philosophies come to life, he must get good players.

However, many a time average coaches have failed to achieve anything meaningful with the best players only for the same players to achieve something with a better coach. For instance, Vladimir Vermezovic's Kaizer Chiefs failed to win anything but has brilliant prospects now with Stuart Baxter.

It is clear that a brilliant coach is not a guarantee of success without the corresponding quality of players. The combination of a great coach and great players will never go wrong.

Lioli re-appointed Ramorebodi in January but nothing has changed in terms of performance. Lioli have remained an ordinary team fighting to finish the season in the top eight.

There has also been instability in Lioli's management. This is one key area that has negatively affected the team's field performance.

Lioli held a special conference last Sunday and concerned supporters registered their grievances over poor administration and it was resolved that the team's general manager Hlalele Matobako be fired.

I wouldn't want to dwell much on Matobako's dismissal as I don't have the full details but Lioli must do serious introspection and get their house in order if they want to start competing with Bantu again.

More From: Lesotho Times

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