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Majantja’s hour of reckoning is here

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — When Majantja claimed the championship in 1995 the football-loving folk of Mohale’s Hoek surely would never have thought their team would one day not only struggle to be mentioned as a title contender, but worse, be amongst the favourites for relegation.
Well, 16 years later and that is just the case.
After romping to the Vodacom A-Division Southern Stream title last season, to bounce back from a painful top-flight relegation in 2010, Majantja will once again be among Lesotho’s elite in the Vodacom Premier League.
However, the two-time league champions, and once the home to the likes of former international Lekoane Lekoane, come into the premiership more with the hope of retaining their place than expecting to be crowned champions.
Majantja came back with serious gusto last season losing one game, to Qoaling Highlanders, all season.
They won 11 of their 18 matches and conceded a miserly seven goals throughout the campaign.
But many have not forgotten the shambles that was Majantja in the 2009/10 league season in which the Mohale’s Hoek side were relegated from the premier league amidst recriminations and accusations.
In the end it led to the acrimonious departure of long-time club president, Sello Matete.
Turmoil always seems to be simmering at Majantja.
Already, even before the dust had settled on their remarkable first division season, there were already recriminations with the board having some problems and two board members being suspended.
This fireball unfortunately is always ready to derail any good work that can be done on the field and by the team’s technical staff.
On the field Majantja have set their stall out very early signing players.
In all Majantja have signed eight players.
In the goalkeeper department Thato Mabitle has arrived from Bantu to compete with youth international Pule Agente.
Tente Molapo has arrived from Linare to tighten a defence which despite last season’s heroics conceded 49 goals in the 2009/10 relegation season.
In midfield Majantja have signed two talented but wayward schemers. Lefa Khooa, who spent more time collecting red cards than passing the ball last season, joins from LDF while highly-rated Mangana Maoela represents something of a coup with his arrival from Bantu.
Their combination, if it fires, could be one of the best in the league.
Journeymen Thabang Makhetha, Tanki Makhele and Keketso Khotso have also been added to the Majantja stable.
But it is upfront where they look thin. When Majantja were relegated one of the reasons that were given was because the team could not score enough goals.
Even with eight strikers competing for places in the starting line-up none will strike real fear into the hardened defences of the top-flight.
Majantja have also been handed a tough start to the season with trips to Linare, Lioli and LMPS and the visit of champions LCS all on the menu in their first four matches.
Majantja do have several comforts they can call upon as they seek to prolong their stay in the top-flight.
Going to Mohale’s Hoek is never easy and it can, on good days, be one of the more intimidating venues in the premiership.
Majantja also have their proud tradition to call on. In all the team should be just good enough to avoid relegation, but they are in for a long, hard season.

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