Lioli management has finally admitted all is not well at the club.
And the unrest in the Vodacom Premier League log-leaders’ camp was on display last Saturday during the team’s 0-1 loss to LCS in the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal reverse fixture.
After the first leg ended 1-1 two weeks ago, Saturday’s win saw LCS progressing to the semi-final on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline, which means the defending champions would no longer be part of this tournament.
On Saturday, Lioli fans showed their displeasure with the coaching department by protesting after the match and calling for their resignation.
It must be noted Lioli have struggled for results since the beginning of the year, so Saturday’s loss was not entirely unexpected.
It had also emerged head-coach Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, had not come for training the whole of last week because of differences with other members of the technical team.
Club spokesperson Moeketsi Pitso has since confirmed that Mokhothu, Technical Director (TD) Halemakale Mahlala and Assistant Coach Thabile Secker have been at loggerheads over a number of issues, among them team-selection.
But I must say, I saw these clashes coming when Mahlaha was appointed TD in August last year.
What I’m trying to say is you cannot have Mahlaha holding this obscure title when Mokhothu is also at the club, without expecting misunderstandings or outright hostilities, especially where the former’s role is not clearly defined.
Again, I think many of our coaches who have been made technical directors (TDs) don’t really understand what the job entails, or are not given a clear mandate as far as the job is concerned.
I have seen these TDs on the touchline on match-day, barking instructions to the players, thereby taking over the duties of the coach, and bringing so much confusion into the team.
As for what is happening at Lioli, management should take the blame because it is wrong to take an active coach and make him a technical director because he will surely end-up straying into the coaching arena.
The other thing management should always consider when making such an appointment is if he would be able to work with the coach, which means studying the characters of the personnel involved is of paramount importance.
Like I said about Linare last weekend, it is very worrying when the big guns of our league are not performing as expected.
Lioli might have lost star-striker Tšepo Seturumane and top defender Basia Makepe, who are undergoing police training but still, the team should be able to produce results because of its quality squad.
However, this can only happen if there is solidarity within the coaching department, hence it is very important for management to resolve this problem as soon as possible or there will be more trouble at the club.
Before I go, I guess the highlight of the weekend was Bantu’s African Champions League match away to Gabon’s Mangasport.
Despite the 1-0 defeat, I believe A Matšo Matebele did pretty well to lose by such a small margin in Maonda.
That narrow loss gives Bantu a chance of progressing to the next stage of the continental showcase, as they have the quality to win the return leg at home by a wide margin.