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Lesotho coach reflects on study tour of South Africa

Lesotho’s Matlama FC coach Molebatsi Mothobi has described his recent study visit to the South African fraternity as an eye-opener, saying he learnt a lot from coaches across the Premier Soccer League hierarchy.

The reigning Lesotho Premier League Coach of the Year tells FARPost that he spent a great deal of time learning at Sekhukhune United under coach Kaitano Tembo and his deputy Thabo Senong.

“It has been a good attachment, learning about modern football, getting different views in line with my vision, and that is what we want in football—to share ideas. I was there at Sekhukhune to try and have their insight about football,” Mothobi said.

His visit also afforded him a chance to meet in passing Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane, technical director Molefi Ntseki, the University of Johannesburg FC and Mamelodi Sundowns youth team coaches.

“I met so many coaches even though we met some just along the way, and we didn’t have much discussions. The coaches I met a little bit were coach Shawn [Bishop] and Dillon of Sundowns Youth development, coach Karabo [Mogudi] of UJ, mme Mingi, the sports scientist of UJ, coach Arthur Zwane and Molefi Ntseki from Kaizer Chiefs and [Bafana Bafana assistant] coach Helman Mkhalele. However, we met a little bit in a hotel. I also met the whole technical team of Sekhukhune headed by Kaitano Tembo, coach Thabo Senong, the assistant coach and [assistant] coach McDonald [Makhubedu],” he said.

The visit to the University of Johannesburg presented the coach from the neighbouring country an opportunity to delve into sports science, among other topics.

“I visited the sports science department [at UJ] to learn how they do with sports science and their structure and treatment of injuries…” he explained.

Understanding coordination between coaching, administration and sports science was an eye-opener for the coach, Mothobi added.

“Coordination of the coaching department in the structure and video analysis as part of the structure, fitness and science departments which are part of the structure. [Looking at] how is the correlation in improving the team’s performance,” he said.

“…the critical one in my view is the coordination between these departments, the sports science department, the fitness aspect of it, video analysis and the impact of it on modern football.”

Mothobi said he spent much of his tour at Sekhukhune learning from Tembo and Senong, who facilitated the visit. As indicated earlier in the Lesotho press, he did not meet Orlando Pirates.

Mothobi first came into contact with Senong when the South African worked as Lesotho’s senior national team coach before he quit last year to pick the Sekhukhune job.

Mothobi travelled to South Africa to broaden his knowledge base ahead of Matlama’s participation in the 2022-2023 CAF Champions League assignments after having won the domestic Vodacom Premier League title in Lesotho.

The Sea-Point-based club recently roped in former Lesotho coach Moses Maliehe to work with Mothobi since the latter has never coached on the continental stage.

Mothobi started off his work at Matlama as an assistant coach and eventually took over in the year 2020/2021 campaign following the sacking of Malawian coach Charles Manda.

RELATED ARTICLE: Lesotho’s top coach set for study visit at Pirates, Sekhukhune

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