MASERU — Matlama coach Ntebele Taole has dismissed reports of renewed infighting at the club.
The Premiership giants were recently hit by resignations of two board members — public relations officer Tšiu Monne and team manager Limpho Tsepe — after the club won the 2009 Vodacom Soccer Spectacular trophy with a winner’s cheque of M360 000 — the largest-ever single payout in Lesotho football.
While reasons for the resignations still remain unclear, sources privy to the goings-on at the club insist the windfall is at the centre of the latest upheaval, where players are reportedly unhappy with the M3 000 they were each offered, for clinching the biggest prize money in domestic football.
However, Taole has rubbished the allegations.
“Matlama are still the same. It is the same Matlama that won the (Vodacom Soccer Spectacular) Cup in Roma. Nothing has changed,” Taole insisted.
“Those were just rumours from people who want to disrupt Matlama,” Taole said.
“I was very surprised when I heard that gossip because there is nothing like that at the club. That talk has even brought a stronger spirit within the team,” he added.
Matlama have made a blistering start to this season, losing only once in all competitions — a 0-1 loss against LDF early last month.
Matlama have also put away 28 goals in their 13 games this season. And before yesterday’s matches, Matlama were in third place, with games in hand on all 15 premiership rivals.
“The team has coming along well. It is a question of putting into practice what we plan for the players, so we can keep on winning. But so far, they are doing very well,” Taole said.
And Taole said he was confident Matlama’s good start would last the distance, unlike two seasons ago when — after a similar impressive start — Tse Putsoa finished 13 points off the top of the table.
“When you are smart, you win when others are still sleeping,” Taole said.
“We have to make sure that we collect our points, so that by the time the other teams wake-up in the second round, we are in a good position,” he said.
Taole also revealed the issue with the gun-toting, off-duty policeman had since been resolved.
Taole was involved in a scuffle with the policeman, who had come to the team’s training ground in October and disrupted one of their sessions.
The man is said to have laid charges against Taole, with the coach then telling the Sunday Express he was considering leaving Matlama because of the incident.