LIOLI coach, Halemakale Mahlaha, has resigned in the aftermath of his side’s failure to defend the Independence Cup.
The resignation comes after weeks of rumours of unrest in the Tse Nala camp and the semi-final loss to LCS in the weekend Independence Cup.
This was followed by another defeat at the hands of Kick4Life in the third and fourth place play-off on Sunday which turned out to be the final straw for Mahlaha who subsequently tendered his resignation on Monday.
There were rumours that Mahlaha was at loggerheads with some of the senior players including veteran goalkeeper, Mohau Kuenane, who publicly stated that he had gone into self-imposed exile because he could not work with the coach.
Lioli President, Lebohang Thotanyana, this week told the Lesotho Times that Mahlaha cited several factors for his resignation including the poor performance in the Independence Cup.
“We were concerned with the performance of the team in the Independence tournament,” Thotanyana said, adding they expected to hold their customary Monday review meetings with the coaches and committee members.
“But upon arrival for the meeting that’s when we received Mr Mahlaha’s letter of resignation.
“We accepted his resignation though it denied both sides an opportunity to engage and understand the challenges the club was facing.
“But we will continue with to seek a diagnosis as we had also planned one-on-one meetings with the players to understand the problems within the team.”
Thotanyana said assistant coach, Motebang Makhetha, has been appointed caretaker coach and will work closely with technical director, Antonio Jesus Flores.
For his part, Mahlaha said there were “a lot of challenges that came with the job,” adding this was nothing new “because where people work together they regularly have different ideas on certain issues”.
“But I enjoyed my time at the club and I also got a chance to grow as a coach.
The veteran mentor, who was in his second spell in charge of the Teyateyaneng outfit, said he would listen to offers but he would not rush back into another coaching job.
“I love this game and it is something that my family is well aware of so if an offer comes my way I will consider it.
“I had a lot of good times with Lioli winning trophies with them but the 2008/09 triumph remains the most memorable as it broke a drought that had lasted 24 years.
“What made it more special is that we did not have a big squad and sometimes went to games with just 12 players,” he said.