Notsi relishes COSAFA Cup challenge
Lesotho interim coach Leslie Notsi is adamant the Mountain Kingdom’s side will rise to the occasion at the COSAFA Cup notwithstanding the recent changes to their technical team following the departure of head coach Thabo Senong.
Notsi, who is the technical director for the Lesotho Football Association, has been assigned to oversee the team at the regional tournament to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. This is after Senong resigned from the job with a week before the start of the regional tournament.
Likuena, as the Lesotho national team is affectionately known, heads to the tournament with a mixture of experienced and young players. They will get their campaign underway on Tuesday against Eswatini in Group A that also has Botswana and hosts South Africa.
“I think since we started last Friday with the team, the attitude of the players has been very good. You see players that are willing to learn and are also committed to the course,” Notsi said.
“We had to really dig deep in terms of selecting the final squad from the players we found in camp. We have had good sessions with them and a practice match against Namibia, which ended in a goalless draw.
“We believe that the players gave a good account of themselves and played according to our game plan. Of course, there is a room for improvement, but we are quite satisfied with the preparations that we have had with them since taking over the reins.”
The 56-year-old Notsi oversaw Lesotho senior team when they reached the semi-finals of the 2013 edition of the tournament in Zambia. He also guided the Lesotho Under-20 side to the final in 2017, where they lost 2-1 to South Africa’s Amajita.
His Likuena team also boasts of graduates from their junior teams such as Jessey Matsie, Sekhoane Moerane, Tumelo Makha, Thabang Malane, Thabiso Brown and Thabiso Mari, who will be making their first appearance at the tournament.
“We have to embrace the challenge and we are looking forward to the tournament. We will give it our all to be as competitive as possible,” the Lesotho coach added.
Lesotho final squad for COSAFA Cup:
Goalkeepers: Jessy Matsie (Lioli Football Club), Sekhoane Moerane (LMPS Football Club), Likano Mphuthing (LDF Football Club).
Defenders: Rethabile Rasethuntsa (Linare FC), Nkau Lerotholi (LMPS FC), Thabang Malane (LCS FC), Basia Makepe (LMPS FC), Bokang Sello (Bantu FC).
Midfielders: Lisema Lebokollane (Matlama FC), Koete Mohloai (LDF FC, Jane Thaba-Ntso (Matlama FC), Lehlohonolo Fothoane Bantu FC), Tsepo Toloane (LDF FC), Tumelo Makha (Lioli FC), Tswarelo Bereng (TTM), Tumelo Khutlang (Black Leopards).
Forwards: Motebang Sera Bloemfontein Celtic, Thabiso Mari (FC Likhopo), Thabiso Brown (Club San Jose) Masoabi Nkoto (Unattached).