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Rovers coach throws in towel

Teboho Molapo

 MASERU — The turmoil in the Rovers’ camp has continued with coach Thabo Thite quitting the team.

Thite threw in the towel last week and will not be on the bench when the Dynamites meet Arsenal for their first Vodacom A-Division match this afternoon. 

The development comes in the wake of the strife and lack of co-operation that has rocked the National University of Lesotho (NUL) football side in recent years.

The serious problems within the club first surfaced last month with Rovers players themselves pointing the finger at what they called poor administration.

Subsequent to that the Rovers’ executive committee was disbanded and an interim committee was installed to run the team.

Last Sunday the Dynamites were scheduled to hold their first annual general meeting in a decade where a substantive board was to be chosen.

But the meeting didn’t happen due to an apparent lack of co-operation between the warring factions in the club.

The failure to hold Sunday’s AGM is said to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in Roma.

On Wednesday morning a high-level meeting was held in a last-ditch effort to iron out the problems that have rocked the team over the past few years.

The meeting however yielded no compromise.

All Rovers’ senior officials declined to officially comment on the matter.

Thite however confirmed he had left the team.

Thite, who is a lecturer at NUL, added he had resigned to spare himself from the “rumour and finger-pointing” that was beginning to affect his family and students.

“I have left Rovers and it is for the benefit of the players. We sat down with the players and we agreed that my presence jeopardised their welfare,” Thite said.

“I hope they receive the services they deserve which they seemed to miss because of my presence.”

“The dean of student affairs was not happy with me,” he added.

“But he sounded helpless as he insisted I was there because of the players, so I decided to make it simple by stepping aside.

“The sports management didn’t seem interested in working with me but when it came to hurting the players and the supporters I thought it was too much.”

One bone of contention was the transfer of Rovers international striker Mpho Matsinyane to Bantu which was allegedly done without Thite’s knowledge.

“I was never against Mats’ move . . . the problem was internal,” Thite said.

“Fortunately I had already registered 35 players and four officials including Ntate Thabane and Tšita Molapo who are tipped to be the best candidates to head the team.

“I have (also) recommended former Bantu assistant (Kabelo) Ramolula.”

“It’s very unfortunate, in our football you sacrifice and compromise a lot but very few will recognise your effort,” he added.

“There are very few rewards in the local game but it becomes unbearable if you are without the emotional reward.”

Thite said he had tried his best to revive the university side.

For example, Rovers enjoyed a thorough pre-season, playing eight matches, and have formed a supporters club.

“We have a supporters club, we formed a working interim committee and we have established a link with the mini-league (at NUL),” Thite said.

“It is my hope that those with the power will continue it.”

In the meantime it’s still unclear when Rovers will hold their AGM.

Premier League and cup champions in 1996, Rovers have fallen far from those great heights.

Meanwhile the Vodacom A-Division season kicks off this afternoon with a full round of fixtures in both the northern and southern streams.

Rovers face Arsenal at Ratjomose.

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