Shoddy preps haunt Makoanyane XI

Shoddy preps haunt Makoanyane XI

MASERU-Lesotho national Under-20 coach Bafokeng Mohapi says a lack of preparation time was the biggest contributor to Makoanyane XI’s dismal showing at the recent COSAFA Under-20 Championship in South Africa.
Two weeks ago, Makoanyane XI lost to Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to finish bottom of their group with an aggregate score of 12-1.

However, despite the beatings, Mohapi said there were lots of positives to take from his players and he highlighted his side’s “fearlessness” saying they were not scared of their opponents.
Mohapi explained that while the Makoanyane XI were in their preparation stage heading into the championships, their opponents were already primed for competition and this could be seen in Lesotho’s game against South Africa where they lost 7-1.

Mohapi said the players were starting to click in the third and final game against Zimbabwe and enjoyed better moments on the ball but conceded goals due to individual mistakes at the back.
“There were lot of positives, in terms of age, our team was very young (and) the fearlessness they had showed that if we had enough time to prepare it could have been better because if you look at it, some teams started well before us, the likes of Botswana got in camp early,” Mohapi said.

“For us we had problems with students, some joined with two days to go (until we left for the tournament),” he said.
“I would say they were not scared of their opponents even though they were beating us physically but we were not scared especially in the last game against Zimbabwe where we had the ball more than them and had more touches with the ball,” Mohapi said.

Mohapi said the national Under-20 set-up will continue to scout players countrywide and hold training camps during future FIFA international dates.
He said playing in more tournaments will help the players get used to the demands of the game.
“We would like to play tournaments and have selection camps,” Mohapi said.

“We want to have time to scout players, maybe call 30 players and select from there (and then) call another camp and select players until we can say we have a squad we are happy with,” he added.

“We will continue to scout players countrywide, if we can play tournaments, maybe two or three, then by the time we play the COSAFA (next year) they will be used to playing in a tournament.”

Tlalane Phahla

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