We’re here to stay, say Lifofane

We’re here to stay, say Lifofane

MASERU – Newly-promoted A-Division North Stream champions Lifofane say they are not going to the Econet Premier League just to make up the numbers.
The Butha-Buthe side earned promotion from the first division two weeks ago after edging out Litšilo to earn one of two tickets to the big league.
Lijabatho were also promoted from the South Stream.
Although there is much excitement at the club ahead of Lifofane’s first-ever trip to the Econet Premier League, they will head to the top-flight with recent history against them.

Newly-promoted sides have struggled to stay in the premiership. This season Swallows have been shambolic and are set to go straight back down while Galaxy are not safe from the axe either.
History also doesn’t make for good reading when it comes to Butha-Buthe clubs.
Since 2012, Maduma, Likila United and Butha-Buthe Warriors have all struggled to find footing in the league and perished. Sundawana, meanwhile, were not even able to complete the 2017/18 season before tapping out.
Speaking to thepost yesterday, Lifofane spokesperson Leqheku Seshoalela said the Butha-Buthe club are aware of the uphill battle they face in the Econet Premier League next season.
Not only do newly-promoted teams have to contend with the rise in quality of their opponents, they find it almost impossible to compete financially with their established elite league foes.

Another problem, Seshoalela said, is that smaller clubs struggle to find venues which meet the requirements of the Premier League Committee Management (PLMC). Promoted sides, therefore, are usually forced to abandon the home grounds they used to move up from the first division which robs them of the genuine home field advantage they so desperately need to compete against the Goliaths of the top-flight.
Recently, Butha-Buthe teams such as Sundawana have had to play their home matches at the Maputsoe DiFA Stadium in neighbouring Leribe because of a lack of suitable grounds in their home district.
“We are aware of that a lot of teams do not stay for long in the Premier League, especially teams from Butha-Buthe because we do not have playing grounds here and we have to play our home games in Maputsoe,” Seshoalela said.

“So, you can imagine the traveling to Maputsoe for every home game. On top of that think of the M23 000 you pay to get (to use) the (Maputsoe) ground. It is a lot of money and teams do struggle.”
For now Lifofane want to put the icing on their 2018/19 season’s cake.
The season is not over yet, Seshoalela said.
Lifofane are aiming to finish the campaign on an even higher note by winning the A-Division Top 8 cup and the A-Division Champion of Champions finale against Lijabatho which will both be played next month.
Nevertheless, Lifofane’s daydreams already revolve around the Econet Premier League.
Seshoalela said the Butha-Buthe side have not rested since their promotion was secured and they have already started preparing for life in the elite league.

He said Lifofane are looking to make several signings to strengthen their squad for next season.
“For now we have not brought anyone in but we are looking to sign at least seven players to come into the team, even though at the moment we have not released any players,” Seshoalela said.
“We are not necessarily looking at bringing in experienced players,” he added.
“We want players who have love for football, people who love this club, not people who are coming because of money.”
“We want people that are going to be committed to the team and people that are going to be hurt by defeat. We have about four players in the team now that have played in the Premier League, so it is not always about experience.”

Tlalane Phahla

 

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