Transition never comes easy
LIOLI were last weekend handed another loss; their fourth in eight matches played so far this season.
Tse Nala were surprised by on song Liphakoe and it was clear from the onset that the eventual winners were the better team of the day and were deserving of the win.
From Lioli’s first match when they lost to Kick4Life, the bell should have rung. However, at the same time, some would want to believe that it was still too early for a side with a new technical team and a relatively new side.
Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much for the team and their results are far from promising.
The mere fact that they have already lost four matches this early into the season is enough to show that this is going to be a long season for Lioli supporters.
But like I have said, it was always going to be difficult for Lioli to maintain the same performances for more than five consecutive seasons with the same players. This is exactly what transformation often comes with.
Things started falling apart last season for Tse Nala as they chopped and changed coaches in the middle of the season and ended up having three different coaches namely Halemakale Mahlaha, Motebang Makhetha and Morena Ramorebodi in one season.
Upon his arrival, Ramorebodi tried to effect some changes at the team in terms of their playing personnel and unfortunately time was not on his side and at the end Lioli finished as runners up to Bantu and also without any silverware for the first time in five seasons.
I understand Lioli are a team known for winning cups almost every season but truth must be told, last season they were so disorganised and I wasn’t surprised to hear other key players such as Bushy Moletsane and Bokang Sello deciding to leave the team.
Apart from Sello and Moletsane who have since joined Matlama and Bantu respectively, Lioli are also missing out on the services of their two star players Jeremiah Kamela and Tšoanelo Koetle.
Kamela is out nursing an injury while Koetle on the other hand still has some unresolved issues with the World Anti-Doping Agency and FIFA directed that he could not be registered until his issue has been resolved.
Lioli have also lost Obakeng Modirwa and Tumelo Khutlang who were not replaced by players of the same quality.
In essence, Lioli are missing the services of six players and that is more than half of the starting 11 which explains why they are struggling.
I remember chatting with their new coach, Lehlohonolo Thotanyana sometime this season and he was very honest that his team is made up of mostly average players because after parting ways with some of their key players, they didn’t go onto the market to buy. Rather, they depended on open trials to get players.
His argument was that in most cases open trials don’t give you the quality you will be expecting but rather average players. If one wants quality, then they need to hit the market and I agree with him.
The club is in a rebuilding phase and it was not going to be easy for them to continue with that fine form. The fact that our teams don’t have succession plans will always see them going through such rough patches.
At least Thotanyana is aware of the problem and is not in denial as he is working to make the best out of what he has and he has already bagged one trophy this season as they beat Bantu in the Independence Top4 final to pocket M200 000.
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