LCS pray for minnows in CAF draw

MASERU — League champions LCS say they are praying to be drawn against weaker teams from Swaziland and Botswana in the Champions League later this year.
The draw will be conducted in November.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, LCS communications and marketing manager Moseme Moseme said the club would prefer to face a side from minnows Botswana or Swaziland rather than top South African clubs.
Lesotho representatives have over the years been drawn against top South African sides only to be knocked out in the preliminary stages and early rounds.
If the trend continues LCS could be drawn against South African champions Orlando Pirates.
“It seems the pattern is that we (Lesotho teams) get South African opponents but we would prefer to get a team from Swaziland or Botswana. We will be happier because we don’t know any of their players,” Moseme said.
“But what is there is there,” he added. “We are not complaining and we will face any opponents we get.”
Lesotho has a poor record in the Champions League tournament.
Since the restructuring of the continental showpiece in 1997 the country has never progressed past the first round.
There have only been five preliminary stage victories for Lesotho.
In 1997 Rovers beat Malawi’s MTL Wanderers before LDF overcame Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows, Botswana’s FC Notwane and Madagascar’s AS Fortior in 1998, 1999 and 2000 respectively.
Lesotho’s last victory in the tournament came in 2002 when LDF beat Botswana’s Mogoditshane Fighters in the preliminary round.
LCS themselves last played in the Champions League in 2008 losing 4-1 to South Africa’s Platinum Stars on aggregate.
Moseme said Masheshena wanted to better that and create history by progressing past the first round.
“Last time we came back at the first hurdle. Our aim is to work hard to go further in the tournament next year,” Moseme said.
“There is not much that needs to be done. What we have to fix is the mindset of our players because we respect South African players too much.”
Moseme also said LCS wanted coaches Mafa ‘Ribbo’ Ramakau and Mosholi ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu to continue and lead the side into the Champions League.
Experienced head coach Ramakau has in the past coached LDF and Likuena and in ending LCS’s league drought claimed his ninth title as coach.
Mokhothu is regarded as one of Lesotho’s top coaches having led Lioli to league success in 2009 before continuing his success with Masheshena.
Premier League chairman Tlholo Letete recently confirmed that LCS will take part in the African adventure next year.
Letete’s words come as a relief to LCS after the club were denied an opportunity to take part in the tournament in 2009.

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