Senong appointed Likuena coach

Senong appointed Likuena coach

MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has officially unveiled South African born Thabo Senong as the new head coach of the national team, Likuena.
The former South African Under-20 mentor was introduced yesterday at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.
Senong arrived in Maseru last week to finalise the terms of his contract and is already in charge of Likuena’s preparations for next week’s 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary stage qualifier against Ethiopia.
The tie’s first leg will be played next Wednesday in Ethiopia with the return next Sunday at Setsoto Stadium.

Senong takes over from Leslie Notši who had been roped in by LEFA to lead Likuena on a short-term basis while it searched for a new permanent coach.
Notsi guided Lesotho to a 6-2 aggregate win over South Africa in the 2020 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers earlier this month and he returns to his fulltime post as LEFA’s technical director.
The length of Senong’s contract isn’t yet known but he is a well-known name in the region.

Despite his young age, the 38-year-old has an impressive list of achievements including leading South Africa to successive FIFA Under-20 World Cups, in 2017 and earlier this year.
Senong also achieved third-place finishes with Amajita at the 2017 and 2019 editions of the CAF Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations and he led South Africa to victory at the COSAFA Under-20 Championship in 2017 and 2018.
He holds a South African Football Association (SAFA) Level 3 Professional Coaching Diploma and a CAF A Licence which is the highest coaching qualification on the continent.

Speaking at yesterday’s introduction, LEFA president Salemane Phafane urged the nation to rally behind Senong and accept the association’s decision to hire a foreign coach.
“We are going to meet teams that are big; we say, yes they are big, but we are also big,” Phafane said.
“We have to prepare ourselves and we unveil the senior national team coach with the hope that the nation will accept that it is the right choice. Some may not agree but let’s accept the decision,” he added.

Phafane said LEFA appointed Senong to take Lesotho to the next level.
“The federation has developed,” Phafane added.
“(LEFA) has moved from what people perceived it to be to a giant with the support of all the stakeholders. LEFA is a self-lubricating machine. We need to make sure it doesn’t run out of oil. It would be naïve to think that we have gone beyond the border to replace what we have. But we have done it to reinforce what is already here.”

Phafane said Senong is very much part of the Basotho nation.
He said one of LEFA’s considerations when it was making its decision to hire a new coach was to recruit someone from the COSAFA region. Phafane said LEFA is satisfied the South African will improve Likuena.

Senong’s charges will have an open training session today before holding a closed session tomorrow ahead of next Wednesday’s crunch game in Ethiopia.
Lesotho is also set for a two-legged showdown against Zimbabwe, at the end of September and in October, for a spot at the 2020 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon.

Tlalane Phahla

 

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