Bantu reaping the fruits

bantuHe has won the cup as a player during a glittering career with some of the best clubs in the country such as Likhopo, LCS, Matlama as well as a stint with Bloemfontein Celtic.

The man I’m talking about is Bantu coach, Motlatsi Shale, who this past Sunday led the Mafeteng-based team to the Independence Cup tournament.

Shale took over the coaching reigns only a few months ago and the success might have come sooner than expected as he is also yet to lose in the league matches.

Congratulations to A Matšo Matebele for winning the historic third successive Independence Cup trophy after beating their rivals Lioli in the penalty shootout to lift the trophy and walk away with the M50 000 first prize.

Indeed, this was a sweet revenge for Bantu having lost the league title to Tse Nala at the eleventh hour of the last league campaign.

A special tribute should also go to the players and the club’s management especially their president, John Leuta.

He is one of a few club bosses who believe in teamwork and a gentleman of the beautiful game for that matter.

Bantu have enjoyed a remarkable success since winning promotion back to the premier league during the 2009/10 season and it is all credit to their management headed by Leuta.

What they have achieved since winning promotion can only be a dream for other clubs.

I believe Bantu’s successful blueprint is one the other clubs in the league should follow.

It shows that with good management of hard working individuals who are passionate about the beautiful game success can be achieved quickly though I feel there is a lot of room for improvement as far as developing young talent is concerned in Mafeteng.

Bantu have achieved a lot within a short time since regaining their top flight status.

The Independence Top4 tournament as a package was also a great success and it could not get better with a dream final between the best teams in the country over the past few seasons.

We all know that losing to Bantu was a bitter pill to swallow for the Lioli faithful.

Everyone thought Tse Nala would walk away winners of the competition as they dominated the match having gone into the lead in the first half, only for Bantu to get a late equaliser and ultimately win the match on penalties.

The Lioli players have no one else but themselves to blame having thrown away a chance to add the Independence Top4 trophy to last season’s league success.

There are also individual players that I feel were outstanding and deserve praise.

Lioli and Likuena goalkeeper, Mohau Kuenane, had a fantastic tournament and it came as a no surprise that he walked away with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award.

The lanky goal minder was superb in all the two matches and was unfortunate to have ended on the losing side in the final.

He hardly featured for Lioli last season en route to winning the league title and Likuena coach, Leslie Notši, faced a lot of criticism for selecting Kuenane into the national team.

His performance on the weekend proved his critics wrong and showed that he is still among the best goalkeepers in the country.

Lack of goals though remains a serious concern as three of the four matches during the two-day competition were decided on penalties.

Metropolitan Lesotho and Standard Lesotho Bank deserve a pat on the shoulder for sponsoring a successful tournament.

Our football needs such competitions to improve the standard of the game in the country.



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