Notši back in business

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Mikia Kalati

Former national team coach Leslie Notši has replaced Motlalepula Majoro as Kick4Life head-coach.

Kick4Life Director of Football, Chris Bullock, announced Notši’s appointment at a press conference held in Maseru on Monday.

Bullock said the 50-year-old former Matlama goalkeeper would be in charge of the team until the end of the season, adding however, there was a possibility he could stay longer.

“I am proud to welcome our new coach, Leslie Notši, who does not need any introduction to local football,” Bullock said. “He replaces Majoro, who resigned last week, and I will not go into details about it.”

Bullock further said the club was honoured to have a coach of Notši’s experience. In addition to coaching the national team, Matlama and Lioli, Notši also had stints at the helm of two South African first division teams, Garankuwa United and Mthata Bucs in 2004 and 2015, respectively.

“We are very excited to have such a coach at our club. He joins us on a short-term deal until the end of the season. Hopefully, we can be able to extend the contract beyond this season,” said Bullock.

“Notši has always been my first-choice coach in this country, but he has been unavailable due to other commitments.

“He brings a wealth of experience into our team, having worked with our national teams at both junior and senior level, as well as in South Africa. It did not take long to convince him to join us and we are delighted he is here today.”

Bullock also said Notši’s mandate is to make sure Kick4Life end the season among the top-eight sides on the 14-team premier league table. Kick4Life were 10th at the end of their first season in the topflight league in 2014/15, and missed out on the lucrative Top4 and Top8 tournaments.

“His current deal will run until the end of the season, but our mandate has not changed from what we expected from the previous coach; the target is still to be in the top-eight on the log at the end of the programme.”

On his part, Notši said he was excited with the new challenge.

“Luckily, I have watched a few matches and I know what to expect in the new job as far as the league is concerned,” Notši said.

“I am confident it will not take me long to get into gear and I feel the club’s mandate is quite reasonable. In fact, looking at it, I think the team has not set their goal too high.”

Notši further said he took the Kick4Life job because of the team’s vision and philosophy of focusing on the youth.

“I liked the setup at the club especially their passion to develop young players, which is something that has always been close to my heart,” Notši said.

Asked if taking the Kick4Life job was not a step backwards after working as national team coach and in South Africa where the game is professional, the former Likuena goalkeeper said: “Kick4Life is a growing brand with the potential to become a household name. I would say Kick4Life came at the right time. My batteries had been recharged since parting ways with Mthatha Bucs (in September this year).

“As for the team, we will assess it and sit down with management to see which areas need strengthening during the January transfer window.”

Notši is one of Lesotho’s most respected football coaches and after leaving Lioli, he joined the  Lesotho Football Association as national under-20, u/23 and later Likuena coach.

He led the under-20 side, Makoanyane XI, to the 2011 African Youth Championship tournament and also guided Likuena to a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Cosafa tournament held in Zambia.

In 2014, Notši quit Likuena and joined Garankuwa United but left the team following a poor run of results. After spending time out of fulltime football management, Notši joined Mthata Bucs in August this year, but quit the team due to infighting within management which saw his goalkeepers’ coach being shot and hospitalised. Notši told the Lesotho Times at the time that some club officials and fans did not welcome his appointment as head-coach of the East London-based first division rookies, and preferred his predecessor, Julius Dube, who had led the team to the country’s second-tier league.

 

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