Sports

VPL Champs beef-up technical team ahead of CAF contest

…as former Likuena coach joins Matlama as head-coach.

Chris Theko

Vodacom Premier League reigning champions Matlama has beefed-up its coaching staff to four with the addition of former senior national team Likuena coach, Moses Maliehe as one of the two head coaches of the C-Point-based side, ahead of the new premiership season.

Maliehe will be working together with current head coach Molebatsi Mothobi who marshalled the team to its record 11th premiership title making it the most decorated team in the country at the end of the 2020/21 in his first season.

‘Tse Putsoa’ as Matlama is affectionately known, needed to have a coach with a Confederation of African Football (CAF) A license to make up the technical team heading to the CAF Champions League.

As champions of the national topflight league, Matlama is expected to represent Lesotho at the continental showpiece starting with the preliminary round in August/September this year.

In an interview with Newsday Sport this week, Matlama Communications and Marketing Manager Themba Ratalane confirmed Maliehe’s appointment, explaining that the coach will be working together with Molebatsi Mothobi.

“The club management has appointed Moses Maliehe as part of the technical team where he will be working as co-coach with coach Mothobi and the two will be assisted by Sello Seholoholo and Mokoena Mohale,” Ratalane said.

He said the club’s supporters should not be worried about Mothobi’s position at the club or whether his role was being taken over but added that the new appointment will basically be a necessary addition towards enhancing the club’s agility in order to contest both domestic and international competitions.

“No one in the technical team is being released, they are all still there but also coach Maliehe is not only appointed because of our CAF champions league task but he will also assist the team even in the domestic league and cups,” he said.

Molebatsi Mothobi initially signed a one-year contract with Matlama in 2021 but recently saw his deal renewed and extended with a further two years in move that will see him lead the side until 2024.

Maliehe, a former Lioli and Matlama player, who previously also coached Lioli between 2005-2008, as well Lesotho’s various national teams, makes a return to Matlama having coached the side during the 2015/16 season, ending the contest as premiership runners-up, Top 8 quarterfinalists, ended the Top-4 in last position in 2015 and as finalists the following year.

Ratalane said Maliehe brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise that the team will need going into the continental showpiece having the requisite skills and experience.

“His experience is what will come in handy for the team going to the Champions league, so the club believes that wealth of experience will work for us as well as fact that he knows the club culture having played for it and also managing it previously,” Ratalane said.

On his part, Maliehe said he started in his new role on Monday this week.

“It’s true I have gotten into a contract as Matlama co-head-coach and I cannot say much at this stage,” Maliehe told Newsday Sport.

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