Worrying developments at Linare


Mikia Kalati

While Linare supporters were still trying to come to terms with the departure of star-players Mabuti Potloane and Kopano Motaung, they were dealt yet another blow following the resignation of head-coach Freese Ntene last week.

Ntene left Tse Tala for ambitious Sundawana almost two weeks after inspirational captain Potloane and defensive rock Motaung quit the club and joined Matlama.

There is no doubt Potloane’s departure made Linare supporters angry and also left them wondering what could be happening at their beloved club.

In Potloane, Linare lost an extremely gifted player who had been very instrumental in the team’s rise over recent years.

Last season, Linare ended the campaign in third place, and also reached the LNIG Top8 final, which they unfortunately lost to Lioli.

Tse Tala was always dangerous going forward, thanks to the midfield magic of Potloane.

Both Motaung and Potloane came through Linare’s development ranks and the pair also wore the captain’s armband to confirm how highly-rated they were at the club.

Yet these developments have not only been disturbing to Linare supporters because I’m also worried as a football fan.

Potloane’s outstanding performance won him the 2013/14 Vodacom Premier League player-of-the-season award, which proved indeed, he was a good footballer.

The midfielder had continuously turned down offers to leave his beloved Linare, which also proved his commitment to his home-team, but I guess he finally grew tired of how the club was being run and decided to leave.

However, in as much as Potloane’s departure hurts, maybe we should also consider the player himself and his dreams, which seemed unlikely to happen at Linare.

In Linare, we are not talking about an ordinary side but a club which has produced many legends of this game, which is why it is so sad to see the team in such disarray.

We are talking here about the likes of Thulo ‘Magic Touch’ Leboela, Emmanuel ‘Garinja’ Phamotse, and Kabelo Mosothoane.

It is also very sad that Linare have not won the league title for over 30 years now and looks highly unlikely the club will challenge the likes of Lioli and Bantu for honours for as long as they continue to lose their best assets.

For the sake of the football-loving public, I hope the team’s management will do something to make Linare the force they used to be.

With many of our clubs experiencing administrative problems, I believe a course on management would be ideal for football officials to improve their managerial skills.

On a different note, I would want to pass my best wishes to Bantu, who left the country yesterday for Saturday’s African Champions League preliminary round first-leg match against Gabon’s AS Mangasport.

A Matšo Matebele have been playing well of late and I hope they will continue with this splendid form when they face the Gabonese side in Libreville and then at Setsoto Stadium a fortnight later.

Bantu should not concede any goals in the away match, which has been the problem with our teams in continental competitions, so they can kill the game here at home.

I hope Litšepe Marabe will also continue with his fine form, which saw him score his 14th goal of the season this past weekend in Bantu’s 1-0 win over Sundawana.

Marabe has done it before at this level and I still remember his wonderful strike for Matlama against South Africa’s SuperSport United in the 2011 edition of the competition.

Unfortunately, that wonder-strike was not enough for Tse Putsoa to progress to the next round of the tournament.

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