NEWLY appointed senior national team interim coach, Leslie Notši, has trimmed his COSAFA Cup squad to 20.
Notši, who is also technical director of the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA), was last week appointed interim coach the resignation of Thabo Senong. Senong has joined a South African Premier League team.
In the run up to his departure, Senong had assembled a provisional squad of 36 players. Notši took the manning of the team last Saturday.
The COSAFA Cup is scheduled from 6 to 18 July in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth.
Notši told the press this week that he has so far worked harmonious with the players.
“We have been working in harmony with the squad and have dropped some players from the initial squad,” Notši said.
Among the dropped players are Thabo Lesaoana, Moteloa Khemisi, Tumelo Ngatane, Monyatheli Ntobo, Thabo Mongali, Kopano Tseka, Shali Lekhotla, Teboho Ratibisi, Thabo Seakhoa, Neo Mokahachane, Jane Tšotleho, Mokoteli Mohapi and Kabai Mohlatsane. The Linare duo of Tšeole Ranthimo and Koenehelo Mothala has also been dropped after failing to report for camp due to injuries.
Although COSAFA is considered a developmental tournament for young players to gain exposure, Notši said they also needed experience to stand a good chance of recording good results.
Added to that, he only has a few days to work with the team hence experience was his best chance of producing results.
“We are facing tough teams and we need experienced players although we still have a few new faces in the squad. We have limited time and we have a task of restoring the nation’s hope in the team which has been performing dismally recently.”
Likuena was last month clobbered 5-0 by Mozambique during a mini-tournament in Maputo. The side also lost to eSwatini in the same tournament. The team also made headlines for all wrong reasons when one player was caught on camera stealing from the team manager’s room while others allegedly reported for camp while reeking of illegal drugs.
Notši is being assisted by LCS coach Shalane Lehohla while former LeFA technical director Lehlohonolo Thotanyana will be the technical advisor during the tournament.
The squad is now made up of goalkeepers; Jessy Matsie, Sekhoane Moerane and Likano Mphuthi.
The defenders are; Rethabile Rasethuntša, Nkau Lerotholi, Thabang Malane, Basia Makepe and Bokang Sello while the midfielders are; Lisema Lebokollane, Koete Mohloai , Jane Thabantšo, Lehlohonolo Fothoane, Tšepo Toloane, Tumelo Makha, Tšoarelo Bereng and Tumelo Khutlang.
The attackers in the team are; Motebang Sera, Thabiso Mari, Thabiso Brown and Nkoto Masoabi.