Heads to roll at Lioli
LIOLI president, Lebohang Thotanyana says an overhaul of his side is looming having completed their first season without a trophy after several successful ones.
The Tse Nala boss admitted that they had become used to success and have now been forced to re-evaluate every department to ensure they are on course for an improved performance in the coming season.
While the technical team led by Morena Ramorebodi is new having joined the club in the second half of this season, Thotanyana said it would also be evaluated.
The club failed to defend the Independence Top4 and LNIG Top8 titles.
Lioli started the season with Halemakale Mahlaha as the head coach but sacked him for poor performance in the Independence Cup and replaced him with his assistant, Motebang Makhetha, who later made way for Ramorebodi.
“One of the challenges at the start of the season was in the striking department,” Thotanyana said.
“That’s why we ended up going to look for strikers in South African in the January transfer window.
“We also had a tragedy in the goalkeeping department. When the first-choice goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle suffered a serious injury, we had to rely on Sebaka Maseko who also got injured. Eventually we had to resort to an inexperienced keeper, Mpho Mofokeng and from the results you can tell it was a disaster.”
He said they were taking the exercise seriously as they have learnt from their mistakes this season.
“We are going into the market with determination to ensure that we improve the squad.
“Our squad is ageing but it performed well during its peak. When you have a squad that has been together for six years it is not easy to get rid of some of the players because you will need to consider combinations.
“The core of the team has not changed over the last six years and now that we are going through an overhaul it makes the job much easier,” he said.
Thotanyana said his side remains financially sound and in a much better state than most premiership teams.
“In terms of finances, Lioli remains far better financed than any other team. Even the team that wins the league will not match our financial status.
“I do not think the players that we are going to off-load will not be able to get salaries matching what we gave them anywhere in the country,” he said.
He said although they are keen to sign new players, they are yet to identify the players whose services they intend to enlist.
“We are reluctant to do that while the season is still ongoing but obviously we are going to re-evaluate everything.”
Thotanyana said Ramorebodi was always going to encounter challenges despite the high expectations since he joined the club in the middle of the season.
“He did not have a lot of options in terms of the players because the season had already progressed. Under those circumstances he did his best, but like I said, a full evaluation will be made at the end of the season and see what has to be done,” he said.
He said the club may even call a special conference based on the recommendations from the management committee to ensure that they start the new season on a new slate.