Struggling Premier League outfit LMPS have parted ways with long-serving coach Lelia Makubakube.
Makubakube resigned after the police side’s 1-2 loss to army outfit LDF last Sunday — the team’s 12th defeat of the 2013/14 season.
LMPS have played 20 league fixtures this season, winning four and losing the same number of matches, leaving the team languishing in 12th place on the 14-team Premier League table.
Makubakube took over the coaching reins from Naleli Tšilo in 2009 and helped LMPS win the MGC Supa 8 in his debut season — during which he was also named coach-of-the tournament — as well as the Imperial Top 8, in 2011.
But Simunye, as the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Football Club are affectionately known, have been a pale shadow of the team that used to instill both fear and awe in the opposition and the football fraternity as a whole.
The team’s communications and marketing manager, Mohale Khemisi, confirmed Makubakube’s departure, which he said was regrettable due to its timing and the coach’s long association with the side.
“He came to management after Sunday’s loss against LDF and asked to be relieved of his duties as coach of the team,” Khemisi on Friday told the Sunday Express.
“However, he was advised to put the request in writing, but he has not done so to this day.”
Khemisi, however, said despite not putting his resignation in writing, Makubakube did not turn up for the team’s training sessions last week, all-but confirming he had severed ties with the club.
“This has not been a good season for us; we are struggling and his departure is a big loss to our side,” said Khemisi, adding Rethabile
Mokhesuoa, who was Makubakube’s assistant, would lead the team until the end of the season.
Meanwhile Makubakube said he has been struggling with his health of late, resulting in limited time with the team.
“I have asked to be excused from my coaching duties because I have some health problems, so I could not be with the team all the time, particularly for training sessions.
“That is why I decided to give someone who can always be there with the team a chance,” Makubakube said.
“I would still want to come back into the game, but at the end of the day, my health status would be the final decider of this.”