Manda happy with first year at Matlama

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Leemisa Thuseho

PENDING the finalisation over the future of the 2019/20 Econet Premier League season, Matlama coach Charles Manda says finishing in second place would be a welcome achievement given that this was his debut season.

Manda told the Lesotho Times on Monday that he was happy with what he has achieved so far.

Although league teams have recommended to the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) that the league be ended in its current status, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) is yet to make the final decision.

The league has been on hold since mid-March after all the sporting activities were suspended in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Before the unplanned break, Bantu were enjoying a healthy 16-point lead over second-placed Matlama.

Bantu have 50 points while Matlama are trailing behind with 34 points. Both teams were left with eight games to go. Bantu needed only three wins to officially dethrone holders, Matlama.

If the league is ended in its current state, Matlama will finish second while Bantu will be the champions and Manda is happy to come second in his second season.

Manda joined Matlama at the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

The Malawian coach told this publication that his debut year has been tough especially considering that Matlama are the holders of the league title.

“The league is just about to end and my journey as Matlama coach has been tough,” Manda said.

“We have failed to defend the title. Our game was inconsistent. Despite the desire to win, we lost some and that cost us the title.

“However, as a new coach to win the Independence Cup and come second and reaching the finals of the Matekane Group of Companies Cup, that is an achievement.”

Manda signed a two-year contract which ends next year and he hopes to improve his side’s performance in the 2020/21 season.

“It is about planning and strategising as well as our preparations. We can take advantage of the current lockdown to strategise well for next season.”

Manda also commended rivals Bantu an “outstanding performance this season” and said they were deserving of the title.

“Bantu has been in exceptional form and have remained at the top of the league.”

Last month Matlama parted ways with five players; Thapelo Tale, Desire Olomo, Kananelo Makhoane, Reitumetse Linkoane and Lekhanya Lekhanya. Manda hopes his side’s management will soon get onto the market to buy players for next season.

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