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Shake-up at Lioli



Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Lioli coach Mosholi Mokhothu is set to be shifted from his role in a shock coaching reshuffle just days before ‘Tse Nala’ begin their Vodacom Premier League title defence.

The club has refused to confirm the development but thepost has it on good authority Mokhothu will move to a new role as Lioli’s technical director of coaching with Halemakale Mahlaha swapping places to assume head coaching duties.

The surprise change comes because Mokhothu missed a two-week Confederation of African Football (CAF) A-License training course held by the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) in June.

It means Lioli cannot meet LEFA’s requirements for club licensing in 2016/17 with Mokhothu as coach.

The coaching course was held to ensure coaches in the Vodacom Premier League are equipped with relevant qualifications. Participants previously held CAF’s B-License. Also present at the seminar was new Bantu head coach James Madidilane.

After Mokhothu missed the course whispers arose as to whether he will be in charge of ‘Tse Nala’ in the new season and it now appears he will not lead the champions as they go for a third successive league title.

Approached for comment yesterday, the club’s vice president Mthoalo Mthoalo could not confirm nor deny the changes to Lioli’s technical setup.

Mthoalo said nothing has been concluded yet and asked to be called again today. He referred thepost to the club’s administration officer Hlalele Matobako who also refused to be drawn on the matter.

“I cannot confirm or deny anything at this moment as we are yet to meet with the president of the club (Lebohang Thotanyana),” he said.

It would remain to be seen how the changes will affect Lioli, especially as they come so close to the start of the season.

Mokhothu is the most decorated coach in the Vodacom premiership. He led Lioli to the title in 2009 before leaving for Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) in 2010 where he won the league in 2012.

Mokhothu returned to Teyateyaneng in 2013 and masterminded championship wins in the past two seasons.

This would be the second time Mahlaha replaces Mokhothu. On the last occasion, in 2010, things did not go as planned. Lioli relinquished their title after Mahlaha took charge for the 2009/10 season and then finished eighth the following season.

The changes, however, will not affect the assistant coach and goalkeeper coach positions as Motebang Makhetha and Pompo Shoai will remain in their respective posts.

‘Tse Nala’ start their title defence against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) on Saturday at Setsoto Stadium and it is likely Mahlaha will be on the touchline for the champions.

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