Lifofane seeks nod  for home ground

Lifofane seeks nod for home ground

BUTHA-BUTHE – Newly-promoted Lifofane are waiting with baited breath to find out if the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) approves the Butha-Buthe Pitso Ground as their home ground for the upcoming Econet Premier League season.
Lifofane want to host all their games in Butha-Buthe to cut the costs of hiring the Maputsoe DIFA Ground in Leribe to use as their home venue.
Lifofane begin their maiden top-flight campaign on September 15 with a home tie against Leribe neighbours Linare.

Lifofane have been busy renovating their ground in a desperate effort to meet the PLMC’s criteria for Econet Premiership arenas.
The side’s spokesperson, Leqheku Seshoalela, said PLMC officials visited Butha-Buthe Pitso Ground last week and the club was told what to fix.
Lifofane are hoping for positive feedback next week when the PLMC returns for a second inspection.

“We are ready for the Premier League but the only thing that is (not so good) is the home ground,” Seshoalela told thepost on Tuesday.
“It is costly to play in Maputsoe. At the moment (Butha-Buthe) Pitso Ground is being fixed and we are hopeful that the Premier League will approve it,” he continued.

“They came and told us where to fix it and they will be coming again to have a look at it. If it is approved we are going to play our home games here and the first game will be that of Linare. We are hopeful.”
Home ground advantage is always crucial in the Econet Premier League, especially for newly-promoted teams.

Recent history suggests teams which have survived their debut top-flight seasons – such as Mpharane Celtics, Maduma and Kick4Life – have enjoyed the benefit of using the same pitch that helped them to the elite league.
Home field advantage was also crucial in Lifofane’s successful promotion campaign in which the Butha-Buthe side won 14 out of 18 games as they went unbeaten in the 2018/19 A-Division league campaign.

From a financial sense, cutting down on extra costs is another benefit for a club that has a limited budget as it is.
Boosting their promotion-winning squad is also an important ingredient for Lifofane to succeed in the Econet Premier League.
Seshoalela said the Butha-Buthe side are determined to do just that and have completed the signings of four players.

The new arrivals are Mokhehle Thahane, who has signed a three-year deal after spending last season on loan from Liphakoe, Litšilo Litšilo, who has joined from Liphakoe, while Itumeleng Leche and Makhooa Shali have made the switch from Lioli and Sefotha-fotha respectively.
Seshoalela said Lifofane are hoping to finalise more deals before the transfer window closes on Friday.

He said several players are on trial at the club and are being assessed by head coach Bafokeng Mohapi who took charge in July.
Mohapi replaced Pitso Mphunyane who led the team to promotion but was demoted to assistant coach because he does not have the coaching qualifications required by the PLMC to be a head coach in the Econet Premier League.

“We have been doing well preparing ourselves,” Seshoalela said.
“We have had a change in coaching because the qualifications of the coach we had didn’t allow him to coach in the Premier League but the new coach has been with the players throughout the preseason. We have tried to strengthen the team and have brought four players so far and maybe on Friday we will add some more. They are players from South Africa, we are not yet done talking to them and, as you know, with players from outside we need international clearances and stuff like that.”

With the start of the 2019/20 season just three weeks away, Seshoalela expressed confidence Lifofane would not be overawed by their first dance with Lesotho’s elite clubs. He insisted the Butha-Buthe side are not in the Econet Premier League just to add numbers.
“We have learnt from the mistakes of other promoted teams, we are here to stay,” Seshoalela said.

“I have been watching our preseason games the players are really up for it and they are committed to what they are doing. We have beaten Liphakoe (and) we were also involved in a tournament hosted by B-Division teams. We are ready.”

Tlalane Phahla

 

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