THE Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) has finally announced the dates for the commencement of the 2018/19 Premier League season after lengthy delays.
There has been speculation in recent weeks with regards of the dates after the PLMC indicated that it had not yet come up with a date.
Defending champions Bantu begin their campaign against Sefothafotha at Setsoto Stadium.
Last season’s runners-up Lioli now coached by Lehlohonolo Thotanyana get their campaign underway on the same day when they host Kick4Life in Teyateyaneng. The match will also be a test of character for the new Kick4Life coach Bob Mafoso, who will face his long-time boss Thotanyana.
The other match on the opening day of the new campaign will pity LDF against Majantja at Ratjomose Barracks Ground.
The country’s most decorated side, Matlama begin their season the following day when they take a short trip to Maputsoe to renew their rivalry with Linare.
Linare and Matlama are the only two teams in the league that have never been relegated from Lesotho’s top-flight football.
Tse Putsoa are now under the mentorship of Thabile Secker, who has replaced Mosito Matela while Teele Ntšonyana remains in charge of the Leribe outfit.
Premier League returnees Swallows will be away to LCS while rookies Galaxy’s top-flight football credentials will be put to test against LMPS.
Liphakoe and Likhopo go head to head in the last match of the opening weekend of the new season.
Mafoso was modesty when he was asked about the expectations from his fisrt game of the season with Kick4Life.
“We are still preparing for that game so the rest that will follow,” Mafoso said.
“You know the first games are always very difficult because it takes time for the team to get its rhythm and unfortunately we face a big team that is always challenging for honours with every season.
“Secondly, I will come up against a coach whom I respect more than any other in this country. He is my role model as I aspire to be like him so it will not be an easy game at all.”
Mafoso said as much as Lioli are a bigger side than Kick4Life, he feels the fact that both sides will be playing their first match could be an advantage for the minnows.
“I think it is positive that will be the fact that both teams will just have completed their pre-season and trying different combinations. It is a chance to see how far we have gone and if we are ready for the new season.
“However, it is still going to be a difficult game against one of the biggest teams in the country and also against a coach who mentored me as I still look up to him to learn,” Mafoso said.
Newly appointed Matlama coach Secker, said he is looking forward to a successful campaign with Tse Putsoa.
The former Lioli assistant coach, who was last season in charge of A Division side-Manonyane, commenced his journey with Tse Putsoa last week.
“I have been received well by the team and the players who up to now have responded very well to my system.
“It is always gratifying for any coach when the players show willingness to learn and listen to your instructions.
“We will continue with our preparations and hopefully by the time the new season starts everything will be in place,” Secker said.
Econet Premier League opening fixture
Saturday 15 September
Bantu v Sefothafotha
Lioli v Kick4Life
LDF v Majantja
LMPS v Galaxy
LCS v Swallows
Linare v Matlama
Liphakoe v Likhopo