Secker joins Lijabatho

Secker joins Lijabatho

MASERU-Former Lioli head coach Thabile Secker has been appointed as Lijabatho coach for the remainder of the Econet Premier League season.
Secker, who guided Matlama to the 2018/19 league title before moving to Lioli at the beginning of this season, has been tasked with keeping the newly-promoted Lijabatho in the top-flight.
He has a big job on his hands.

So far the elite league has been tough going for the Morija side.
Lijabatho have won just one of their 11 games this season and find themselves in 13th place in the Econet Premier League with eight points.
Only bottom side Swallows, with five points, have fared worse.

Lijabatho’s inability to cope with life in the top-flight led to the firing of Motolo Makepe last month and the club now hopes Secker is the man to save them.
The appointment is a surprise, however, because of Secker’s growing reputation as one of the country’s top coaches in comparison to Lijabatho’s stature. It is not the job most expected Secker to take after coaching two of the country’s biggest teams.

Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, Secker said the Lijabatho post is a challenge he is relishing.
“You build yourself with small teams, you want to test yourself to see where you are in your career as a coach,” Secker said.
“It is very easy to coach big teams with big players, so much so that even if you are not performing well as a coach, the players will always come through (and win games),” he added.
“It is different with small clubs, you are working with players with no (big) names and I have been watching (Lijabatho’s players), they are people I can work with and also have discipline. They are people you can discipline.”

Although he didn’t mention Lioli, Secker’s reference to discipline appears related to his ill-fated four-month stint at ‘Tse Nala’ where reports of player power surfaced before he was sacked in November.
Secker said he is looking forward to a fresh challenge at lowly Lijabatho and said he took the job because he felt the Morija side can stay up.
A league as a player in 2009 with Lioli, Secker said he is surprised Lijabatho are struggling given the signings they made in the off-season before their Econet Premier League debut. He said Lijabatho have five months to turn their fortunes around and he insisted his new side has enough quality to survive the drop.

“To be fair I am surprised that they are where they are now given the signings they made (at the start of the season), those players weren’t signed to win the league but also they aren’t players to be fighting relegation. We have been talking as the technical team that things have to change now,” Secker said.
All hope is certainly not lost.

Although Lijabatho are second bottom, a couple of wins could see them shoot up the league.
The top-flight new boys are only two points behind 10th placed Liphakoe.

Secker’s first chance at three points will come this weekend against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS). After that Lijabatho face his old side, Lioli.
Secker insisted a turnaround is possible if Lijabatho work together to get results.
“Time is no longer on our side, we have to start winning,” he said.
“And the wins don’t just come, you have to work hard to get the results. That’s what we have to do right now.”

Tlalane Phahla

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