By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — Former Likuena coach, Leslie Notši, who quit his position last week to take over a new position at South African first division side United FC, says he was inspired to take on a new challenge in another country.
Notši has also taken along his highly experienced assistant coach from Likuena Lehlohonolo Thotanyana.
Thotanyana led Lioli to the league title in the 2012/13 season.
Notsi told the Lesotho Times it was a difficult decision quitting Likuena after a successful 2013 that saw the team reach the semi-finals of the Senior COSAFA Cup that was played in Zambia.
At United FC, he takes over from legendary former Mamelodi Sundown’s player Daniel Malesela.
Under his mentorship, Likuena also managed to register their first win away from home in a competitive match in over a decade, beating Sudan 3-1 in Khartoum in their last match of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in September last year.
“I should first start by thanking Basotho and the Lesotho Football Association for having given me such a big responsibility of coaching the national team. I will forever be grateful,” Notši said.
Likuena ended the 2013 campaign in fourth position behind Zambia and Ghana who qualified for the global showpiece after beating Egypt in the playoffs.
“I’m here to take on a new challenge and also to grow professionally,” said Notši.
Speaking from Rustenburg where his new team is in camp preparing for their first fixture
of the New Year against Jomo Cosmos on Saturday, the 49-year-old told this paper that he was settling well in his new home.
“I’m settling in well here and happy with everything,” he said.
“For now I’m taking each match as it comes,” Notši said.
The soft-spoken coach with a CAF B coaching license told this paper that his target would be to help his team finish the season in a respectable position.
In the course of his coaching career Notsi also had time as coach of two of the country’s biggest clubs, Lioli and Matlama.
He also led the Lesotho Under-20 team to the CAF African youth championship that was held in South Africa in 2011.
United also have Lesotho international Lits’epe Marabe who has been struggling for game time since he joined the side at the start of the 2013/14 season.