Senong takes charge

Senong takes charge

MASERU-The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has announced Thabo Senong will lead all of Lesotho’s men’s national teams.
Senong was hired as coach of the senior side, Likuena, last August and he has now been given the task of heading Lesotho’s Under-17, 20 and 23 sides as well.
Senong will work with three coaches in his technical team.

Motolo Makepe and Bafokeng Mohapi have been roped into the brains trust while Mpitsa Marai will continue as the lead assistant coach to Senong.
The changes are part of a new strategy implemented by LEFA and were unveiled yesterday at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.
Makepe, Mohapi and Marai will report straight to Senong and LEFA technical director Leslie Notši.
The new approach comes after the sackings two months ago of Halemakale Mahlaha as Under-17 coach and Bob Mafoso as Under-20 coach following their sides’ poor performances in their respective COSAFA youth tournaments last year.

The Under-17 side were knocked out in the group stages of their regional competition in Malawi last October while the Makoanyane XI were dumped at the first stage of the COSAFA Under-20 Championship in Zambia last month.
Both sides exited their tournaments without a win.

LEFA said Senong is at liberty to delegate his new-fangled team as he wishes.
Makepe and Mohai have been hired on a fulltime basis by LEFA while Marai will still be involved with Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) in the Econet Premier League.
LEFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said Lesotho’s governing body is following a model that is being used all over the world.
He said LEFA wants the national teams to have the same philosophy and similar playing styles.
Mohapi said the association has been reviewing what it can fix since sacking Mahlaha and Mafoso.

He said LEFA had two options: to keep things as they were, with a different coach responsible for each national side, or change the system completely.
Mohapi said Senong is comfortable with the new working situation and a few key areas were looked at when LEFA appointed his assistants.
Mohapi said most importantly, they were looking at a person with character and the ability to work with other people. The new assistant coaches are on two-year deals running concurrently with Senong’s contract.

“We are looking futuristically into these appointments,” Mohapi said.
“When Senong’s contract expires and he decides not to renew there should be people we know can do the work. So we are now doing what the rest of the world is doing. Maybe we are too late, but it’s never too late to get started,” he added.

Mohapi said the same system will be applied to the women’s national teams as well but that announcement will be made at a later stage.
Senong said they want the players graduating from the Under-17 side to the Under-20 setup to find it easy to work with the coaches.
“The most important thing is talent identification in the country,” Senong said.
“We took a route to have full-time resident coaches because talent scouting is a full-time job and it is important that the coaches are full-time watching matches every weekend and making sure there is no single talent that is missed,” he continued.

Senong said he is looking forward to working with his new technical team.
“We are happy that we will have coaches who are focused on LEFA,” he said.
“The recommendations of the coaches were made and it is important that we support them. I am happy and I will also be learning from them because the biggest challenge we had with Likuena as the head coach was to increase the technical team which means increasing the number of assistant coaches,” Senong said.

Tlalane Phahla

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