Hats off to Ntšonyana for Linare revival

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Mikia Kalati

A LITTLE over a month ago, Linare appointed former Likuena striker Teele Ntšonyana as coach in an effort to save the club’s sinking ship.

Ntšonyana had just parted ways with Liphakoe and it was always going to be a tough job to turn around the fortunes of the Leribe club which has endured numerous on and off the field problems in recent years.

As I had said previously, the survival and stability of Linare could only be possible in an atmosphere of cooperation among the Leribe community to make Tse Tala the great side that it was in the 1980s.

Tse Tala have a big history in our football and it has been sad watching them struggle over the years while other big guns have been winning trophies.

Linare last league success came in 1980 and the best we have seen of the club in recent years was during the 2013/14 season when they had the likes of Mabuti Potloane and were unfortunate to lose out to Lioli in the final of LNIG Top 8.

They also finished third in the league in that season.

However, the arrival of Ntšonyana appears to have breathed new life into the team which now plays with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

They have ground out results against teams that are hard to beat, including Kick4Life and LDF on their way to a four match unbeaten streak (three wins and a draw).

They are certainly on the right track under the mentorship of the former Likuena striker who had an illustrious career that took him to South Africa where he played for Witbank Spurs and Wits University.

Ntšonyana deserves a pat on the back for taking on the challenge of leading a side that was on the brink of fighting for survival.

Linare was slowly turning into a laughing stock but Ntšonyana has helped restore the team’s pride in a relatively short space of time.

Linare and Matlama are the only teams that have never been relegated and that says they are giants of our football in this country.

Now that the team is safe and out of danger, the biggest challenge is ensuring the club maintains the upward trajectory beyond this campaign.

The most important task for Linare’s management is to retain the services of Ntšonyana and provide him with all the tools he needs to make Tse Tala a great side again.

That includes the financial resources to compete in the market for the players that can bolster the team.

It has been over three decades since Tse Tala last won a major trophy and that should certainly jolt the management and Leribe community into acting to find solutions to end the long drought.

The likes of Bantu, Lioli and Kick4Life are miles ahead in terms of professionalism and it goes without saying that Linare should take a leaf from their rivals’ copybook if they are to successfully challenge for honours.

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