Secker blames player power

Secker blames player power

MASERU-Former Lioli head coach Thabile Secker has explained why his adventure at ‘Tse Nala’ was cut short with the Econet Premier League season only three months old.
Secker joined the Teyateyaneng side on a two-year deal in August after failing to agree on a new contract with Matlama.
The move was hailed as one that could finally take Lioli back to the top of Lesotho football after a barren four-year run without winning the league title.

When he joined Lioli, Secker had just won an historic 10th league title with Matlama.
However, things did not go as planned in TY and last Thursday he tendered his resignation at the six-time league champions.
Speaking to thepost this week, Secker said player power pushed him out of the club and he accused Lioli management of interfering with his job as coach.
Lioli are now under the interim stewardship of Soai Mosola who was Secker’s assistant.

Secker said he felt the club’s management undermined him which allowed the players to do the same.
Secker, who won the league title with Lioli as a player in 2009, said he suspended a player and the player immediately went to management and was reinstated into the team with no hearing at all.
Although Secker was coy to name the player and what he did, it is believed the related player is Tumelo Makha whom Secker apparently didn’t get along with and suspended from the team.
Makha was restored by management and the only game he did not start while Secker was in charge was a league game against Bantu last month which Lioli lost 2-0.

Makha was on the bench for the defeat to Bantu.
“There is not much to say really, it is about the management, they were interfering with my job as the coach,” Secker told thepost.
“When a player misbehaves and as the coach I try to discipline the player by suspending him and such a player goes straight to the management and he is reinstated back into the team without any hearing, it shows lack of respect and it looks like I have no control over players and the players will undermine me in such cases, therefore, I decided I will resign because they were interfering with my job,” he said.

Secker is not the first Lioli coach to apparently be undermined by his squad and have players reporting him to club management.
Former coach Halemakale Mahlaha spoke about rife player power in Teyateyaneng and credited it for his resignation from ‘Tse Nala’ in October 2017.
Mahlaha resigned after finishing fourth in the Independence Cup where Lioli lost 2-1 to Kick4Life in the third and fourth place playoff.
In that game, Mahlaha substituted Tšoanelo Koetle, now with Bantu, who was Lioli’s captain on the day. Koetle refused to shake hands with Mahlaha as he was subbed, in front of teammates and thousands of fans who were at Setsoto Stadium.

South African coach Morena Ramorebodi, who was at Lioli for just six months last year, also hinted at player power at the club.
Last season, ‘Tse Nala’ fans were up in arms demanding that the club’s management resigns. They also called for certain players to leave Lioli as they felt they divided the dressing room.
It seems the problems still exist.

Secker admitted he was aware of the player power accusations at Lioli before he took the job but he felt things would be different because he has his own principles he works with.
Secker said he would be back on the touchlines should an opportunity arise for him to return to coaching.
“For now there is nothing but if an opportunity comes up I will be back,” Secker said.

“I will see if it’s good for me because my career comes first, money comes second, it’s not always about money. I have heard different views from (Lioli) fans, some say they understand why I resigned but not everyone is going to love you. Maybe some didn’t like the way I was doing things.”
Lioli public relations officer Lekhoesa Mokhoele responded on Tuesday.

“We received (Secker’s) resignation letter last Thursday stating that he is parting ways with the team without stating his reasons. We therefore called a meeting (on Monday) to write to him asking him to state why he left the team but some members of the panel (rejected that),” Mokhole said.
“Instead, we wrote to him showing that we received his termination letter and gave him a one month notice (period) but he should not be part of the technical team until the time bound is done.”

Tlalane Phahla

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