THE long serving Lioli president, Lebohang Thotanyana, has announced that he will retire from the helm of team at the end of the current season.
The 45-year-old Thotanyana, who has also served in the Premier League Management Committee from 2011 to 2014 was elected the Lioli president in 2007.
He told the Lesotho Times that he is now making way for new blood and new ideas.
“I have been at the helm of this team for a decade and I think it is time I pave way for new ideas which will come with the new leadership,” Thotanyana said.
“If my memory serves me well, I was the longest serving president for all the Premier League teams and I am very proud with all that we have achieved during my tenure.”
The former mining minister admitted that as much as he has achieved a lot with Lioli, there was still a room for improvement.
“When I first arrived here, this team had gone for about three decades without winning any trophy but we changed things around and won trophies every season. However, I know there was still room for improvement for me to grow,” he said.
Thotanyana’s term as Lioli president is supposed to end next year but he said he couldn’t afford to carry on anymore hence he has already advised Lioli to find his successor.
“I am retiring and not resigning. Our term is supposed to end next year but I have already advised them that they should look for my successor so that they hold a special conference when the season ends since we don’t have an elective AGM this year.”
Talking about his achievements, Thotanyana emphasised the fact that he was the first leader to ensure that community teams pay their players monthly allowances.
“I am very proud of everything about this team and the standard that we set in our domestic league. It was under my leadership that we came up with a very ambitious move of paying players on monthly basis and look where our Premier League is now, most of the teams followed suit and you can see that some are very high there with us.
“I have also worked on the team’s financial stability which also saw other teams following suit and becoming innovative nowadays teams are able to generate their own monies even though it is still not too much.”
Thotanyana said their biggest challenge was the team’s failure to break into the CAF championships.
“The fact that we failed on numerous times to break through in CAF competitions will remain my biggest challenge and something that I will always regret. We also failed to complete our journey to fully professionalising the team,” he said.
Asked whether he was leaving because the team is struggling Thotanyana said Lioli is not struggling.
“This team compared, to its competitors in the league, is not struggling because last season we were league runners-up. This season, we have already bagged one cup. But if compare it to how it has been competing in past seasons, yes it is not doing well because we used to win at least two cups each season.
“I will not leave football for good. I am still available should they need me for advice,” Thotanyana concluded.