BY REITUMETSE MABALEHA
Maseru- The newly introduced technical members, James Madidilane (Assistant Coach) and Posnett Omony (Goalkeeper Coach) will have their first official game at the turf of the national team.
Likuena will face Uganda on the 1st June at Princess Magogo Stadium at Durban in the quarter finals of COSAFA Cup. The team has been camping together for about three weeks now.
The final squad for this tournament normally consists of 23 players, but Likuena’s was trimmed to only 20. This comes after two players were confirmed to be injured. Their selection has come under a lot of scrutiny. Some players have been converted into places they usually do not play at their club level.
In the current selection, the likes of Ts’oanelo Koetle has been selected to play right back, when he usually plays as defensive midfielder. The coaches explained this, saying they had run out of options because two selected defenders sustained injuries.
“Koetle was before playing as a right back. What we did now was, to work with what we have, we have already lost two defenders due to injuries,” assistant coach Mpitsa Marai explained. This was also agreed with by Madidilane.
The other noteworthy worry is that of the merits that Luciano Matsoso was selected on. He has not been playing for his club Black Leopards for this past season at all. “With this Luciano issue, we had to sit down and weigh our options. We saw that we need his experience in order to win. He might not have played for his team, but his experience can come handy for us in this tournament,” Madidilane shed the light on this controversial issue.
On one hand, the current technical team has been given a mandate by the Association that will decide their future after CHAN qualifiers against South Africa. They have to go beyond the semi-finals of the COSAFA and or even win the tournament in order be hundred per cent sure about their jobs. Should they fail to do so, their future shall be decided.
The regular captain Mafa Moremoholo has been dropped, or better yet, not been called to the national this time. Of late, he has not been displaying his usual play, and this got him dropped. He will be replaced by LMPS defender Basia Makepe with the captaincy band.
It was uncertain whether the man at the helm of the team would make it to Durban. He was said to be sick by the Team Manager of the team, Rantsubise Matete. “It shall be decided later today whether the coach leaves with the team or not. He is really not okay,” he enlightened the issue.
It was confirmed yesterday that the team had arrived in Durban. The hope is that they make Basotho proud.