Bantu deny  Mokhothu deal

Bantu deny Mokhothu deal

MASERU – Econet Premier League champions Bantu have denied they have appointed Moshodu Mokhothu as assistant coach.
‘A Matšo Matebele’ have been searching for a right-hand man to head coach, James Madidilane, since Bob Mafoso unexpectedly jumped ship to join Kick4Life at the start of the month.
Club insiders say Mafoso’s departure caught the team off-guard forcing Bantu to abruptly look for an adequate replacement to appease their ever-demanding fans.

Mafoso worked with Madidilane for two years and in the process helped the club to back-to-back league titles as well as the Independence Cup last October.
Mafoso was considered perfect for the assistant coach role thanks to his man-management skills and tactical knowledge.

Bantu’s resultant search for a replacement has been extensive and had even extended across the border, sources say, before rumours spread last week that ‘A Matšo Matebele’ had tabbed Mokhothu as their preferred candidate.

“Shoes”, as Mokhothu is known, is one of Lesotho’s most successful coaches.
In two spells at Lioli he led ‘Tse Nala’ to four league crowns – in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016 – and also masterminded back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012 for Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS).

In addition, Mokhothu was a league champion with LCS as an assistant coach in 2008 but has been out of football since leaving rivals Lioli in 2016.
Phasumane, however, vehemently denied Bantu have made any contact with Mokhothu.

“It is not true; we have never approached Mokhothu for the assistant coach position. That position is still vacant even now,” Phasumane insisted.
“What we have is a list of recommended names that could fill in and help the coach,” he added.
“Maybe next week everything will be finalised. For now there is nothing.”

The developments come as Madidilane enters the final year of his contract with the club
The Mafeteng side want to tie down the South African tactician, who has reinvigorated Bantu since taking over in the winter of 2016, to a new deal.
One of the keys to convincing Madidilane to stay is to have a strong and stable technical team around him.

On a positive note for Bantu, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ have secured the futures of key players Lindokuhle Phungulwa, Tsietsi Khooa and Ramasimong Maloisane by extending their contracts.
The renewing of Maloisane’s deal will be particularly pleasing for ‘A Matšo Matebele’ as the mercurial winger had been linked with a move away from Mafeteng.
Recent reports, for example, claimed Swaziland champions Mbabane Swallows were closing in on Maloisane’s signature.

Mbabane Swallows defeated Bantu in the CAF Champions League in January and have since qualified for the group stages of the lucrative continental club showpiece.
Phasumane said tying Maloisane to a new contract not only shows Bantu are looking to add to their title-winning squad but that they are determined to hold onto their stars.
“In terms of (new) players, we have identified a few targets and we will be making signings soon but I am not sure about players leaving,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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