Notši backs  Mehalalitoe coach

Notši backs Mehalalitoe coach

MASERU-Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) Technical Director, Leslie Notši, has pleaded for support for Mehalalitoe head coach Lehloenya Nkhasi after two humiliating defeats for Lesotho in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, last week.

Mehalalitoe lost 8-0 to Zambia and 9-0 to Malawi meaning they conceded 17 goals without reply in their two Group B games at the tournament.
Despite the harrowing results, Notši said this was a learning curve not only for the team, but for the association as they realised there are things they have not been doing right.

Nkhasi, who was appointed head coach of Mehalalitoe last month, has been given until the end of the year and the association will engage with him again.
Nkhasi is also the head coach of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) ladies’ team that has dominated the Women’s Super League for several years now and is regarded as one of the best coaches in the women’s game.
LDF Ladies have won the past three league titles.

His first task with Mehalalitoe was a difficult one as his side was paired against Zambia, who were beaten finalists last year, while Malawi had reached the semis.
Notši said defeats against two of the best countries in the region does not make Nkhasi a bad coach and insisted he should be given support instead.
He said the association believed it was right to make changes to Mehalalitoe’s technical team when it hired Nkhasi to replace Lire Phiri who had been in charge since May last year.

“We believed it was right because Nkhasi had been going for training programmes over the last three years; and he was LDF coach, winning all the accolades of being the best coach; after losing two games is he now a bad coach?” Notši questioned.
“We were all here honouring him as one of the best coaches in the Women’s Super League but now after losing against two of the best footballing countries in our region can we say he is a bad coach?” he added.

“I don’t take it that way. We need to protect him because he has been a legend in women’s football, let’s support each other,” Notši pleaded.
“He is working with coach Lire at LDF and doing a good job. He is saying he has learned a lot, he is coming back with knowledge so I am asking, let’s support each other, let’s know the challenges in women’s football and address them together.”

Notši said they have a three-year programme of which the first 18 months they want to see to it that Mehalalitoe is playing a lot of games with countries that are in the forefront like Malawi and see where they are.

Nkhasi said they studied both Zambia and Malawi before they played them and would not say tactically they got it wrong but the gap between them and Lesotho was too big.
He said “the fact that Zambia had qualified for the 2021 Olympics shows what kind of opponents we were up against.”

Tlalane Phahla

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