LINARE have appointed former Bantu coach, Motlatsi Shale, as head coach ahead of the second round of the 2015/16 Vodacom Premier League which begins on 16 January 2016.
Shale was recently relieved of his duties at Bantu after losing all the four matches he was in charge during his second stint at the helm of the Mafeteng-based side. In his first spell at Bantu, Shale guided A Matšo Matebele to their first premier league title in 87 years during the 2013/14 season.
Linare Public Relations Officer, Refiloe Makhobotloane, confirmed the appointment this week, saying Shale’s brief was to revive the struggling side’s fortunes after the axing of head coach Lebajoa Mphongoa last year due to poor results.
“Indeed, we have succeeded in securing Motlatsi Shale’s services, and believe that, under his tutelage, our team will return to its glory days,” Makhobotloane said.
“We appointed Shale because of his successes at other clubs, and believe he has what it takes to make the team more competitive.”
Linare ended the first round of the campaign 10th on the 14-team premiership table, and 16 points adrift of log-leaders Lioli.
Makhobotloane said Shale has been given the option of choosing his assistant, adding that the club also promised him financial support to reinforce the squad.
“We want Shale to choose his own assistant whom he would be comfortable to work with in assembling a strong team,” he said.
“We will also provide the financial support needed to strengthen the squad and ensure our performances improve in the season round.
“Our target is to finish the season in the league’s top eight. A top four finish would be a bonus.”
On his part, Shale said his mission as Linare head coach was to return the club to its heyday as a dominant force in local football.
“This is a new challenge for me, and I am ready to serve this team and help them turn the corner,” Shale said.
“When the club’s management approached me, I didn’t hesitate to heed their call because I want to take Linare to where it belongs.
“Linare was renowned for good football and for producing quality players. My intention is to return the club to its previous status as a premier league giant.”
The Likuena mentor said, while he was keen on beefing up the squad during the January transfer window, it would all depend on the calibre of the players available in the market and the club’s financial muscle.
“Of course I would love to reinforce the squad, but we all know that it is very difficult to get good players during the January transfer window,” he said.
“I will soon meet the club’s management to map a way forward and discuss our expectations of each other.”
Shale added: “If we fail to get new players in this window, I will work with what is there and then reinforce the squad in June. Ultimately, my objective is to build a formidable side that can challenge for honours.”
Linare’s second round campaign gets underway on Sunday when they host LCS.