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Likuena role for Madidilane

by Lesotho Times

Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has handed Bantu coach James Madidilane an assistant coach role in the senior national soccer side’s technical team.

Madidilane with work with the team which is preparing for the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers against South Africa.

He is expected to start his duties as Likuena’s second assistant coach next week alongside Mpitsa Marai, who is overseeing the early preparations of the provisional squad that reported for training this week.

The two neighbouring countries will go head-to-head over a two-legged CHAN qualifier in July and August this year.

LeFA had initially told this publication that Marai would take charge of Likuena for the two CHAN games against Bafana Bafana. However, the Lesotho Times has since been informed that told that the football governing body has now resolved that Moses Maliehe remains in charge of the team.

The association, through its secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi told journalists last week that the LeFA national executive committee was still discussing a way forward for the team after Likuena failed to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Madidilane, who played for the likes of Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United during his playing days in South Africa, has enjoyed a lot of success since taking over the reins at Bantu in 2016.

He has won two back-to-back league titles as well as the LNIG Top8. Last year, he also became the first coach to lead a Lesotho side past the first round of the CAF Champions League in almost two decades after Bantu eliminated Township Rollers of Botswana.

Madidilane told the Lesotho Times that he met with Mohapi and the LeFA technical director Leslie Notši over his new role.

“I recently met with Ntate Mohapi and the technical director Ntate Notši and they told me that they want me to be part of the Likuena technical team,” Madidilane said.

“Myself and Ntate Marai will start working with a group of players who have been selected as Likuena’s B team.

“We have to train the team for five to six weeks then afterwards players will be selected to join the main squad.”

The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender said he will meet with the association again next week to finalise details of his role.

“I cannot start before I meet with the association again to know their target, what is expected and my job description.

“They said maybe we would meet again on Monday along with the Likuena head coach Ntate Moses Maliehe.

“This team is being prepared for CHAN and hopefully after that meeting, everything will be clear. I was told that they want me for the CHAN competition, which I do not have a problem with. I only want to know my job description and what is expected from me.

“I know I will be a joint assistant coach along with Ntate Marai but I want to know all the details of my job description and the expectations,” he said.

Madidilane, who has two caps for Bafana Bafana previously told this publication that coaching Likuena would be a dream come true for any coach, though he feels he still has a lot to learn before he can take up such a responsibility.

“When you work as a coach, coaching the national team will be an achievement but at the same time, it’s also the beginning of some real and serious work.

“Of course, I would welcome such an opportunity though it has not been my focus as I’m still in the early stages of my career. At the same time, it would be a big opportunity for me as a young coach,” Madidilane said.

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