Nkhethoa leads war cry



MASERU – LDF Ladies FC coach, Lengana Nkethoa, hopes the team he leads into the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Championship League will not be intimidated to play against giant clubs such as South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. The regional tournament is set to take place in South Africa from August 26 to September 4 this year, during the qualifiers for the first edition of the Total Energies Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.

The Lesotho champions are pitted against the South African star-studded side (Sundowns), Double Action Ladies from Botswana and Manzini Wanderers of eSwatini in Group A. In Group B, Green Buffaloes of Zambia are pitted against Black Rhinos Queens of Zimbabwe and Tura Magic of Namibia. The draw was held in South Africa last Thursday, led by COSAFA Secretary General, Sue Destombes, with the coaches of all the seven participating clubs.

“It is true we only started preparation for the competition three weeks ago and what I can say is that our preparation has been good so far,” said Nkhethoa in an interview with Public Eye. The former LDF FC defender said they know what to expect from the Sundowns Ladies, having seen them in action. It is the Double Action Ladies and Manzini Wanderers Ladies who are closed books.

“Talking about the South African side, I have at least had a chance to watch them play before, unlike Double Action Ladies and the Manzini Wanderers team. Both teams are a closed book to us.” Nkhethoa added: “But at the end of the day football is the same the world over. It is just a matter of believing in strength and skill, and not panicking. We should remain focused and not at all be intimidated by Sundowns.”

Nkhethoa said the South African teams beat Lesotho teams just because the local players give them too much respect, and not because they are better than local players. “But if our players could bear in mind that the South African players are football players like them, they would match them pound for pound.

“The same thing applies to these other two teams which we have never watched play before if we could focus on our strengths and sharpen our skills ahead of the competition.” Destombes said during the draw last Thursday that having the regional women tournament like this was something that COSAFA had on its radar for a while. “This is momentous because it is something that COSAFA had on its radar for a while,” said Destombes.

“But it is a fabulous initiative by CAF to have implemented a Women’s Champions League and to do the qualifiers at the zones’ level.”     Just like Sundowns Ladies and Zambia’s Buffaloes, LDF Ladies had been dominating the domestic ladies football league in the previous seasons. Nkhethoa will be assisted by another former LDF FC player and the Lesotho senior national team striker, Lire Phiri, as well as Moroesi Lazaro.

Nkhethoa will lead the LDF Ladies team as a stand-in coach since the club’s head coach, Lehloenya Nkhasi, will not be available due to work commitments with the army.


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