LIOLI is racing against time to replace the late coach Thomas Tshabalala, who died last month.
While president Lebohang Thotanyana this week said they were still strategising before appointing a new coach, an authoritative source at the club said the side was targeting another South African, Thabo Tšutšulupa. Tšutšulupa’s last gig in Lesotho was with Liphakoe in 2019.
“We haven’t talked about him but maybe he wants the job,” Thotanyana said.
“What I can tell you is that there are lots of people who have shown interest by sending their CVs.”
But a source this week said: “They haven’t finalised yet but some have suggested that they give the job to assistant coach Vuyisane Mangaliso while others are pushing for Tšutšulupa as the substantive coach”.
Currently the technical director and head coach for ABC Motsepe League side, Royal Eagles, Tšutšulupa admitted he would jump at an opportunity to return to Lesotho.
The former Kaizer Chiefs Under-17 coach is known for helping Liphakoe to its first top eight league finish in the 2018/19 since their return to the elite league six years ago.
“I would love to return to Lesotho… I am interested in the Lioli job if it is offered to me.
“I would also like to see myself one day coaching a team that competes in the CAF Champions League,” Tšutšulupa said.
He said Liphakoe was a good learning curve for him and he will always cherish the opportunity the club gave him.
The late Tshabalala had played three matches and had won two against Linare and CCX before losing to Lijabatho.
Meanwhile, Lioli on Tuesday appointed assistant coach Mangaliso the caretaker coach.
“The board is happy to announce assistant coach Vuyisane Mangaliso as the Lioli FC caretaker coach.
“This follows the passing of coach Ntsheing Thomas ‘Neva’ Tshabalala. Mangaliso had been serving within the club as Tshabalala’s assistant. His engagement will bring continuity and stability in our technical division,” reads the statement.
“This will also give the board adequate time to consider all alternatives and decide on a permanent future plan,” a statement from the club reads.