BANTU were crowned Vodacom Premier League champions on Saturday ending Lioli’s dominance that had seen Tse Nala win back to back league titles over the last two seasons.
Just like in the previous campaign, the destination of the title was decided on the final day as both Bantu and Lioli still had a chance and both showed their hunger by winning their matches against Kick4Life (3-0) and Sky Battalion (2-0) respectively.
In the end A Matšo Matebele prevailed with a two point cushion, taking their final points tally to 61 points.
It had looked like Lioli would make it three titles in a row until they slipped up by playing out a goalless draw against LCS when there were still five games to be played.
Bantu took full advantage and never looked back from that point on.
Prior to that, the Mafeteng side had given themselves a huge boost by beating Lioli 2-1 when the two teams clashed in the second round of the campaign at Setsoto Stadium in March.
Full marks to the technical team led by coach James Madidilane and his assistant, Bob Mafoso who guided Bantu to the title in their first season in charge.
The two took over the reins at the side that had only managed a seventh place finish during a disastrous previous season where they chopped and changed coaches.
Both are still the students of the game as young coaches but they were able to win the dressing room and bring harmony to the club all season.
One of the many problems that troubled Bantu the previous season was the big egos of some of their star players and any coach must control the dressing room to succeed.
And Madidilane and Mafoso accomplished the task to great effect as the players began to play as a unit, fighting hard and ultimately grinding out results week in and week out.
Former captain, Tlali Maile led by example on and off the field.
In as much as he was relegated to the bench for most of the second round, Maile is a born leader and he commands enormous respect among his teammates.
Stars like Litšepe Marabe, Hlompho Kalake, Thapelo Mokhehle and Lazola Tjokojokoane also brought their A game all season.
This helped new boys such as Itumeleng Falene, Lindokuhle Pungulwa, Moloisane Ramasimong and Thabo Selisa to settle quickly into the team and come to the party.
Of course the management led by club President John Leuta played its part, working tirelessly all season to make the team the biggest brand in the country.
They even introduced their own television show which is aired on Lesotho television every Thursday.
While I have always maintained that Lioli had the best team on paper, ultimately the hunger, determination and harmony in the Bantu squad prevailed.
Football is as much about the positive team spirit as it is about talent.
Congratulations to A Matšo Matebele on winning the title and I can only hope the preparations will begin in earnest to finally conquest African football next year.