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New Bantu coach hits ground running  


Mikia Kalati

NEWLY-APPOINTED Bantu head coach, Bafokeng Mohapi, says changing the team’s mentality is the first port of call as he seeks to revive the fortunes of the struggling premier league giants.

Mohapi was appointed as Bantu coach on Tuesday after Motlatsi Shale was sacked a week before. Shale, who guided Bantu to their first premier league title in 2013/14 but left the team before the start of the current campaign following disagreements with management, lost all the four matches he was in charge in his second stint before the end of the first round of the premier league.

Added to that, insiders had told the Sunday Express’ sister paper, Lesotho Times, there was disharmony in the club which had since unraveled on the pitch during the first round.

The Mafeteng-based side now languish in seventh position on the 14-team log, 13 points adrift of leaders Lioli, ahead of the second round of the 2015/16 Vodacom Premier League which resumes on Saturday.

However, Mohapi told the Sunday Express on Friday that the solution to Bantu’s poor run of form lay in changing the mindsets of the players by instilling in them confidence.

“I think the most important aspect of the team that needs to be fixed is the psychology of the players,” he said.

“Firstly, we need to change the mentality of the players if we are to improve from the back to back defeats the team sustained before the end of the first round.

“The defeats are now in the past, and we now have to prepare the team mentally and technically for the second round to ensure better performances.”

Mohapi said he intends to reinforce the squad during the January transfer window after the club transfer-listed five players. The transfer-listed players include Kholuoe Phasumane, Hopolang Mohlalefi, Lelia Jeremane, Fidel Ntoya and Maoela Mangana.

“I sat down with the club’s management to discuss preparations for the start of the second round and the strategy for reinforcing our squad,” he said.

“I know there have been some problems in the team and the meeting with management was meant to map a way forward in order to find solutions for the challenges the club was facing.

“It goes without saying that we need to get new players to fill the gap left by those who have been transfer-listed.”

Among the targets set for Mohapi by Bantu management is a top four finish in the Vodacom Premier League and retaining the LNIG Top 8 title the team won last year.

“Coaching a team as big as Bantu comes with its challenges since there are high expectations and goals from both management and fans. I believe the team is good enough to compete for a place among the best teams in the country,” he said.

“I also think we have players with the quality to carry the team through to the top four.

“We just have to assess the condition of the players and take it from there. All in all, I think Bantu remains a force to reckon with, and we will fight to finish the season in a respectable position.”

Mohapi’s mettle will be put to the test on Sunday as Bantu take on Likila United in their first game of the second round.


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