‘Lioli not yet at its best’


Mikia Kalati

LIOLI FC still has a long way to go before they can become a force to reckon with in the domestic premiership, coach Lehlohonolo Thotanyana has said.

Thotanyana said despite winning the pre-season tournament Alliance Winter Challenge last weekend, there was still a lot of work to be done at the club.

The Teyateyaneng outfit walloped Swallows 5-0 in the semi-final on Saturday and edged LCS 1-0 in the final.

Thotanyana said winning the tourney is a good morale booster for his club as they look to reclaim their glory days in the new season.

The veteran coach returned to the Lioli’s hot seat after a troubled 2017/18 season where the club had three different coaches in Halemakale Mahlaha, Motebang Makhetha and Morena Ramorebodi. They finished the season without a single trophy for the first time in five years.

“For a team that is known for winning trophies, going for a whole season without silverware was indeed difficult but bagging a pre-season gong means nothing apart from being a chance to assess the squad,” Thotanyana said.

“Training and playing matches are different so one just has to elevate the resources of players at the game level.

“The tournament helped us assess some of the players that were on trials and it also helped us highlight areas where we need to sharpen.”

Although he was initially modesty about the win, Thotanyana said the win spiritually uplifted his side.

“Spiritually, it means a lot and we should always appreciate and celebrate any success that comes our way. We thank God that we won the tournament as it is a morale booster and also good for the supporters though it may be worth little in the new season.

“Our main target is the upcoming Independence Cup which is not too far away from now.”

Thotanyana however, could not say how far his team is in its preparations for the new campaign.

“You can never really say how far you are because challenges are different. Tactically it is a process that takes time for the team to click.

“Secondly, mentally you look at the readiness of the team over some time based on the matches you have played.

“So, it is not yet time to comment about the readiness of the team but in terms of assessing the players, this was the last filter. We also have another player whom we are still chasing and hopefully by the start of the season, we would have signed him.

“He is not really a big player but has promising talent that might bring the club a lot of success,” Thotanyana said.

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