MASERU — Lesotho’s Under-20 national team coach Leslie Notši has stressed dummies and shimmies will not make the country competitive on the international stage.
“Shibobos don’t win games,” he told the Sunday Express.
“It’s high time we fielded players who are ready to play for the team, not just players who people want to see because they have fancy skills.”
Notši was speaking after he announced a 26-man preliminary squad for Makoanyane XI’s crucial Caf Under-20 Youth Championship first-round match against South Africa next month.
The squad, which begins a six-week camp at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena tomorrow, sees two new players who were not part of the side assembled for the 7-2 aggregate demolition of Mozambique in the preliminary round in April.
In comes Bantu goalkeeper Thato Mabitle while midfielder Lekhanya Lekhanya has been rewarded for his late-season form for Likhopo with a call-up.
Linare’s Napo Sehloho has been dropped.
Lesotho’s three-goal hero against Mozambique, Tsebang Lebata, is also included after undergoing physiotherapy for an ankle injury sustained in a league match in April.
Notši said he would stress, during the camp, discipline as the key to winning matches.
“Football needs discipline on and off the field,” he said.
“I want our players to be like professionals. I’d like to see our players behave well off the field.
“Commitment and dedication is a major factor.
“Behaving like a sportsman at all times . . . It’s something that is not easy because our football is not professional but it is something that has to happen.”
Notši said he would also focus on the players’ physical conditioning.
“Football has changed and we need to adapt,” he said.
“The game is about speed and physical strength.
“We need to play winning football and we need to play to our strengths.”
The squad will be cut down to 20 players a week before Lesotho travel to South Africa for the first-leg encounter on July 24 or 25.
The second leg will be played at Setsoto Stadium on August 7.
If Makoanyane XI beat South Africa they will face Sudan or Kenya in the second and final qualifying round for the championships in Libya next March.
“We want there to be strong competition for places in the team because at the end of the day those who make the final squad should be in on merit,” Notši said.
“We know for us to qualify will be a great achievement.”
He added: “I believe we have an opportunity now to build a team.
“We want to play as a unit. Every player who goes on the field should know their roles.
“In world football the teams that are the best example are Inter Milan and Barcelona.
“You see a team that is compact and where there is co-ordination between the players.
“But the physical fitness has to be of a high standard.”
Goalkeepers: Kananelo Makhoane (Likhopo), Baholo Sefatsa (Nyenye Rovers), Thato Mabitle (Bantu)
Defenders: Basia Makepe (Joy), Salebone Lekhooa, Mari Moloi (both Likhopo) Tšoanelo Koetle, Motiki Mohale (both Matlama), Kopano Motaung (Linare), Moremoholo Maphakisa (LMPS), Pitso Monne (Lioli)
Midfielders:, Tau Qobose (Matlama) Mosioua Boseka (Swallows), Jeremea Kamela (Joy), Raotsi Raotsi, Thabiso Mohapi, Tsebang Lebata, Lekhanya Lekhanya (all Likhopo), Kopano Tseka (Mphatlalatsane),
Strikers: Montoeli Senopo (Nyenye Rovers), Litšepe Marabe, Mohau Khali, Tsietsi Tikiso (all Matlama), Bafokeng Mosala (Lioli), Lebajoa Mosehlanyane (Mpharane Celtics), Lehlomela Ramabele (Botswana Defence Force XI) Refiloe Mothae (Manonyane)