TROUBLED premier league giants Linare have been thrown into further turmoil ahead of their Sunday clash with Kick4Life after players boycotted training to demand the return of coach Motlatsi Shale who resigned last week.
The former Likuena striker who has been in charge of the team since last season, tendered his resignation last Thursday, in frustration of what he termed the club’s failure to address the players’ welfare issues. He briefly returned to the bench for Saturday’s 0-1 loss to Matlama after players pleaded for his help for that match.
Since then, Shale has been at home waiting to hear from Linare management if they would address the needs of players that he has tabled as a pre-condition for him to resume his duties as coach of the Hlotse outfit.
“I made a promise to the players that I will be with them in that match despite having resigned a few days earlier,” Shale said.
“The thing is I recruited some of these players and I would not just leave them like that. All I want is for management to address the needs of the players so that we can concentrate on the job on the field of play,” he said, adding that he was still prepared to coach the team.
Shale who led Bantu to their first ever league title three seasons ago, said as of yesterday, he had not received communication from management.
He however said he was not in rush to leave despite speculation linking him to the Sundawana position.
“I still think that this team can survive relegation if management get their house in order and for now I am not in a rush to coach any team.
“There is no offer from any team and I am not under pressure to get another coaching job,” he said.
One of the players Lebenya Leboela said they were unhappy with the situation at the club and wanted a meeting with the management to restore normalcy.
“The players are unhappy with this situation because the coaching has been fighting for too long to have our problems addressed,” Leboela said.
“I am worried that if this is not solved soon, the club will end up in a relegation battle again and might not be lucky this time.
“We want management to sit with us down and solve all the issues and only then will we resume training,” he said.
Linare public relation officer Refiloe Makhobotloane said management would meet again today after having done so yesterday.
“We had a meeting on Wednesday and we will continue on Thursday to discuss these issues including the players boycotting training,” Makhobotloane said.
“I am sure we will find a solution, but what I can tell you is that Linare is bigger than all of us.
“I do not understand why the players have gone on strike because coaches come and go. But it does not mean that we have parted ways with Ntate Shale,” he said.
He also expressed optimism that they would be ready for Sunday’s match.