Matlama have appointed Moses Maliehe as head-coach.
The national under-20 team coach replaces Ntebele ‘Mocholene’ Taole, who was sacked last month despite taking Tse Putsoa to a credible fourth-place finish on the 14-team premier league table last season.
After parting ways with Taole, Matlama had appointed Lehlohonolo ‘Killer’ Mokhehle as interim coach last month, with fellow club legends Sello Seholoholo, Mokoena Mohale and Matsoai Shokhoe also coming in as assistants coaches and goalkeepers’ coach, respectively.
Matlama secretary general Thabo Nkhahle confirmed Maliehe’s appointment this week, explaining the team needed a more experienced coach for what promises to be a tough season. Maliehe, a former Lioli and Matlama player, has previously coached Lioli and Sundawana FC, as well Lesotho’s various national teams.
“Like we said before, Mokhele and his assistants had been appointed to those positions on an interim basis, but management later felt the team needed an experienced coach to steer the ship in the new season in order to challenge for honours,” Nkhahle said.
“We felt that they are not yet ready for such a big responsibility, which is why we brought in Maliehe.”
Nkahle said the coaches would be sent on coaching courses to gain the much-needed experience and expertise, while they are assisting Maliehe.
“The idea is to send these coaches who were in charge on an interim basis, on more high-profile courses while they are also learning as assistant coaches,” said Nkhahle.
“We feel Maliehe knows our culture as an experienced national team coach and our former player and can help us achieve our ambitions as a club.
“The target is to be very competitive in the new season and challenge for honours once again.”
On his part, Maliehe said he started in his new role on Monday this week.
“It’s true I have taken over as Matlama head-coach and had my first session with the team yesterday,” Maliehe told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday.
“I can’t say much at this stage as I have only been here one day.”
On new players, Nkhahle said the club was working on reinforcing their squad and would also soon hold talks with Linare about retaining Mabuti Potloane.
The 2013/14 Vodacom Premier League player-of-the-season spent the second round of last season on loan at Matlama and recently told the Lesotho Times that he was yet to make a decision on his future. However, Linare are also keen on re-uniting with Potloane,
Meanwhile, the Lesotho Times has learnt that former premier league young-player-of-the-year Tumelo Khutlang would be joining Lioli once his contract with Sundawana expires next month.
Although Tse Nala have denied contacting the player, the Lesotho Times is reliably informed the midfielder would be with the Teyateyaneng-based league champions next season after failing to agree terms with Bantu.
In another offseason development, Sundawana communications and marketing officer, Bokang Phasumane, has confirmed the club was assessing the Ghanaian duo of Samson Kwabena Yebri and Michael Mireku Chene, as well as South African Alvino Lentoor.
“The three players are here with us and the coaches are still assessing them; a decision is yet to be made on whether to sign them or not,” Phasumane said.
“So far, they have impressed our coaches but we will see how it goes in a number of friendly matches we have lined-up.”