MASERU –– This time last year LCS were preparing for the defence of their Premier League crown. Masheshena had just won the MGC Supa 8 –– soon to be supplemented by a Vodacom Soccer Spectacular crown –– and were preparing to win a third consecutive championship.
In short Masheshena were the undisputed top dogs of Lesotho football.
Fast forward to August 2009 and the picture is not quite the same.
LCS aren’t quite a floundering ship, but they definitely have lost the aura of invincibility they enjoyed each time they stepped onto Lesotho’s fields in the past.
Last season they finished a disappointing third – albeit influenced by the disappointment of not playing the CAF Champions League.
However LCS are still one of the top sides in the country, and hurt by the disappointments of last season there will be added hunger at the central prisons to recapture the league crown.
Without doubt Masheshena remain the most organised and structured team in the country and when they are at their best they strike a breathtaking balance between all-out attack and defensive solidity.
Sadly this was never consistently achieved last season and indeed hasn’t been the case for a while. Last season LCS were far and away the top scorers in the league with 68 goals but their 28 goals conceded was the most of the top six sides.
Part of LCS’s biggest problem last season was the constant chopping and changing of their back four leading to inconsistent displays.
But in pre-season Katiso Mojakhomo seems to have decided on a back four of centre backs Mpitsa Marai and Poloko Mohale, with the exciting Sobhuza Chabalala and energetic Khoto Sesinyi flanking them.
In midfield Lieta Lehloka (at times used as a right-back last season) is expected to play a more prominent role in midfield with the eventual phasing out of Refiloe Potse.
LCS’s biggest problem last year was their performances against their rivals. LCS dropped six points. Losing twice against Matlama and failing to beat either LDF or Lioli.
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That is a potential point swing that would have seen LCS challenge for the league and sorting out such problems will be Mojakhomo’s biggest challenge. That along with getting the best out of his star studded side.
LCS’ strength remains in the depth of their squad. The squad has been together for a long time and has struck a balance between experience and youth.