Ramorebodi wants to stay put


Moorosi Tsiane

LIOLI coach Morena Ramorebodi says he still has unfinished business with the former Econet Premier League champions and he would love to extend his stay at the club.

Ramorebodi joined Tse Nala on a six-months’ deal in January this year and his contract ended last month. He however, told the Lesotho Times on Monday that he was happy with the progress that his side has made.

Soccer activities, like all other sports, have been on a break since mid-March as the government worked to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

When Ramorebodi re-joined Lioli in January, the side was seventh and he improved their standings to fifth before the break.

However, the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) last week announced its recommendation to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) to end the season in its current state. And that means Lioli would end the season in fifth.

But on Monday Ramorebodi told the Lesotho Times that he was impressed by the progress his side has made and was hopeful of better fortunes had it not been for the break.

“I was here for six months but due to the corona break it was cut short to three months,” Ramorebodi said.

“When I arrived here the team was seven but we moved to fifth and I believe we could have done better had we played all our matches.

“We had a young, inexperienced and hungry squad, so I had to do give them confidence on my arrival. There was a lot of work because the team was faring badly but it responded positively and is on the right track.”

Ramorebodi who first coached Lioli from January to June 2018 said the difference between his 2018 and 2020 squads is the hunger for success exhibited by the current side. He has most of the players in the 2018 side had achieved a lot with the club, hence had little motivation to do more.

He however, said since they were in the building phase, it would be “absurd” to expect the side to challenge for honours.

“Lioli are in a building phase and you can’t expect to win the league in a building phase. The players are young and need thorough coaching which cannot be achieved overnight.”

He likened the rebuilding process to building a bamboo which takes many years to grow and said Lioli fans cannot expect instant results.

Instead of competing with their peers, Lioli must concentrate on rebuilding its side to avoid pressuring the technical team and the players, Ramorebodi said.

“Lioli has reached a full cycle and when that happens, you go through what Liverpool, Manchester United, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates among others are going through. Mamelodi Sundowns will also, at some point, go through the same phase,” he said.

His target, if his contract is extended, is to build a side that will compete beyond the country’s borders and leave a mark on the continent.

“The aim is to build a side that can compete in the CAF Champions’ League not only at home.”

While Lioli president technical Moses Maliehe said they are yet to decide on Ramorebodi’s future, the South African emphasised that he was still interested in coaching the team next season.

“I am willing to finish what I have started. I have done a lot of research that will help us improve our competition.

“The plan is to build a team that will win trophies for Lioli, a team that will dominate locally and you can’t do that without profiling proper players and without building a team. People tend to like microwave results but if you do, you can only get them for one season. However, now I want to build a team that can even outlive me by dominating for at least five years even if I leave.”

He admitted that it might take Lioli a long time before it becomes a powerhouse once again but said consistency would become handy.

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