THE indiscipline in the senior national soccer side, Likuena is worrying coach, Thabo Senong.
This after two players’ conduct on and off the field while on tour in Mozambique last week rocked the team.
Likuena was in Mozambique for a tri-nations tournament along with eSwatini. The side lost 5-0 in the first match and was edged 1-0 by eSwatini in the second game. The tournament was meant to prepare all three teams for the upcoming COSAFA Cup in Durban next month.
But Senong is worried after Bantu defender Tšoanelo Koetle’s exuded indiscipline both on and off the field in Mozambique. It had been expected that Koetle would have reformed having been called-up for the first time since 2019 when he was dropped for similar reasons.
His indiscipline in Mozambique saw Likuena being penalised for a dangerous foul against the hosts in the 5-0 drubbing.
Senong said the management failed to control the player as he would report late for training while relations with teammates were always frosty.
“We had hoped that he would change after sitting him down and discussing our misgivings with is conduct which led to him being dropped since 2019,” Senong told the media in Maseru yesterday.
“There was a public outcry and we sat him down but it seems that did not work as he reported late for trainings and was uncooperative with both the management and fellow players.
“He was unwilling to build relations with fellow teammates and no one wants that kind of player in their team. Talent must go hand in hand with discipline and character. We gave him a chance but it seems he has no respect for the national team badge.”
On the other hand, he was also peeved by Matlama player Thabo Matšoele who was caught on camera stealing from team manager… Matlosa.
Matšoele allegedly entered Matlosa’s room and stole M1400. He however, later returned the money. But Senong has already decided that he will ring some changes as his side continues preparing for the COSAFA Cup.
“Unfortunately, these are not the kind of players we need. There was a lot of mischief. Some were using banned drugs like marijuana, which is totally unacceptable in sport. Therefore, there are going to be multiple changes when we head for COSAFA.
“We gave some players a chance because we believed in their talent but unfortunately, they let us down.
“I am happy that at least we got all this information three weeks before the tournament. It will help us consider who to include in the team. We have got a database of 40 players.
“I take full responsibility as the coach and apologise to the nation for the embarrassing conduct. Our players should understand the benefit of taking their football careers seriously. If one abuses alcohol and drugs, they cannot expect to perform. We don’t want such players.”
He said they played tough teams in Mozambique but said he was also happy that he came back with some positives.
“There are players whom I believe they performed well among them Tumelo Ngatane, Thabo Seakhoa and Thabang Malane. Tumelo Makha also had a good debut,” Senong said.
He however, could not be drawn into revealing the identities of players who are suspected to have smoked marijuana in camp.