MASERU – There are big chances that Matlama’s reign as kings of Lesotho soccer will last only for a year.
Tse Putsoa could only play to a damp squib goalless draw against foes Lioli at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.
It was in truth an insipid performance from the champions, lacking end product and in the end exemplifying how their Vodacom Premier League season has gone.
Matlama periodically threatened to score the goal they needed to keep their hopes alive and Dlomo Monapathi could have snatched one early in the second half had it not been for his fondness of fondling the football.
In the end it was in fact Lioli who looked more likely to grab all three points and put the final nail in Matlama’s fate, but Tse Nala striker Shoai Mosola missed a glorious one-on-one chance with goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhesi late in the game.
As the recriminations of Tse Putsoa’s campaign start, hopefully this season will be a lesson for Matlama because at the rate they are going they won’t be able to achieve any lasting success.
Matlama by its brand, culture, and history is a winning club.
But in recent years they have kept going back to square one again and having to rise from the ashes.
The team will have their fourth head coach of the season when they play LDF at Ratjomose on Saturday.
This is simply not good enough for a club that has designs on success and being Lesotho’s top club.
Coach Mahao “Bomber” Matete has quit the club and in the meantime his assistant Motlalepula Majoro has taken over the reins.
Matete was hired as Matlama’s technical adviser last October and soon afterwards became the third man at the helm after the departure of Ntebele Taole and Mokoena Mohale.
When Bomber took over as coach in November, Matlama were already eight points behind leaders LDF, with a very heavy workload.
It all goes back to the departure and lack of support shown to Taole when he won Tse Putsoa’s first cup by winning the 2009/10 Vodacom Soccer Spectacular and a first league title since 2003 at the end of that season.
However, in that time turmoil had already been the course for Tse Putsoa.
Just two weeks after that watershed Vodacom Soccer Spectacular victory in Roma Matlama fell into their customary turmoil with the resignation of two members of the club’s executive board over prize money.
Last February, Matlama elected a new committee which was their fourth in three years.
At the end of the season Taole was unceremoniously pushed out after leading the club to a rare league and cup double.
This is why Matlama have not had any consistency in their team and why Matete in many ways inherited a poisoned chalice.
As long as Matlama’s hierarchy continues to deny their head coaches maximum support as they are doing now, they will lose focus and go back to square one.
Perhaps, and hopefully for those of Tse Putsoa blood, lessons will be learned that Majoro or whichever coach comes in next will have the support they need from above.
As Matlama showed in their heroic but ultimately short performance against SuperSport United in the Caf Champions League last month, they have the fan base and potential.
But that needs stability and success to be fully harnessed.
As it is Matlama now face LDF at Ratjomose needing nothing but a win and hoping foes Lioli do them a favour against leaders LCS on Sunday.
Tse Putsoa are 10 points behind Masheshena, whose form – seven wins in seven – is ominous.
Matlama need a miracle, but more than that they need stability.