FORMER LDF and Likuena striker Lire Phiri has been appointed the coach of the senior women’s soccer team, Mehalalitoe, coach.
Phiri will immediately take charge of the team’s forthcoming games against eSwatini on 18 and 19 May at either Maputsoe DIFA Ground or Setsoto Stadium.
The coach recently told the Sunday Express that he expects his charges to bring their A game when they host eSwatini.
He said he welcomes the challenge and hopes to see Mehalalitoe giving eSwatini a run for their money as they prepare for the COSAFA tournament to be staged later this year.
Phiri told this publication that they have started their preparations last and the eSwatini match will be the scale to measure their progress.
“We have started our preparations because we were waiting for the Women Super League games which ended last weekend,” Phiri said.
“The aim is to prepare for COSAFA but at the moment, it is still unclear whether or not we will be going but I am expecting to see my charges rising to the occasion to also give LeFA a reason to see that we can compete with other countries.”
He said he is working to ensure that their players are physically fit as that has always been the challenge in previous years.
“We need to set our programme in such a way that can also help us to stay fit because physical fitness has been a challenge. However, the good thing is some of the players in the team have been very active at their respective teams in different tournaments as the Top4 played last weekend. Even those who were not playing will not struggle much.”
Phiri said he has not reshuffled the team as that is a process that needs strategy.
“It is not easy to just reshuffle a team. We need to be strategic about it. At the moment, there are just a few new faces like LDF central midfielder Lerato Toloane, Rovers striker Puseletso Jobo and FC Stoko defender and midfielder Maleshoane Motšoane and Lerato Sello. We also have Mpitso Pelea who plays for Limkokwing University.
“From the under-20 we promoted Matili Monokoane who plays for the University of Free State,” Phiri said.
Meanwhile, the national women’s under-20 side will also be playing eSwatini on the same dates.
The following weekend, Makoanyane XI and Bahlabani will be hosted by eSwatini before they host Botswana on the first weekend of June.