Our problems are bigger than a foreign coach

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has made it clear that it is hunting for a new coach to replace the ailing incumbent Moses Maliehe who has been battling ill-health for several months.

Maliehe last coached Likuena in March this year when the senior national soccer side played Cape Verde in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers where the side were held to a goalless draw.

However, the former Matlama mentor’s ill health has even deterred him from travelling with the side to Durban in May for the COSAFA tournament leaving assistants Mpitsa Marai and James Madidilane in charge.

After COSAFA, LeFA technical director Lesly Notši was then appointed caretaker coach while the association sought a replacement.

Among other names that have been thrown around was that of former Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thabo Senong.

Senong is one of the promising coaches in South Africa and his record coaching the national under-20, nicknamed Amajita and helped them qualify for the FIFA under-20 World Cup early this year.

Amajita twice qualified for the AFCON finals in 2016 and 2018 under Senong.

The Soweto born coach also had stints with the Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns development teams and will, without doubt, bring massive experience to Lesotho football.

He has also worked as an assistant to the sacked Bafana Bafana coaches Shakes Mashaba and Stuart Baxter.

But as much as Senong is such a good coach, I still don’t believe he will be a solution to the problems in our local football. In my view, the problems are bigger than him.

Instead, I think he might be setting himself up for serious frustration as he is used to better working conditions than those evident in Lesotho.

For starters, Lesotho doesn’t have good facilities apart from Maputsoe DIFA Ground and Setsoto Stadium and that is where I think our problems lies.

Lesotho’s problems lie on the development developmental side and lack of facilities and before we start thinking of bringing a foreign coach, we need to solve all our problems.

I am pleased to say I have noticed that; at least, LeFA has been trying to work on the development of players as they have a national programme for under-15 tournaments. The programme is already rolling and aims to address developmental deficiencies. Hopefully, after five years we will start reaping the results of those projects.

The biggest challenge for LeFA still remains lack of facilities because it’s still going to be tough for a foreign coach to watch a premier league match at PTC ground for instance and expect to get hundred percent performance from the players.

My take regarding a foreign coach is that we should wait for at least two more years until the construction of the Lepereng Stadium is completed. LeFA is also racing against time to see through the reconstruction of Bambatha Ground and Mohale’s Hoek DIFA.

With at least five good pitches, the quality of local football will improve.

Most importantly, the million-dollar question with the Likuena’s congested fixture is: will Basotho have patience on a new coach when Likuena has to face Nigeria in just a month?

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