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Marai’s mammoth mandate


Chris Theko

Liphakoe has given their new head coach, Quthing-born Mpitsa Marai an easy but mammoth task after his announcement as the new man in charge a week ago.

Marai is expected to guide the ‘mighty hawks’, as the Quthing outfit is affectionately known, into a top eight finish and maintain it for the next two seasons. The club has also vowed to support him and make sure his job is made easy and smooth. 

Marai who was in charge of Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) from 2015 until his unceremonious sacking earlier this month, signed a two-year contract with his boyhood club.  

He replaces Teele NtÅ¡onyane whose contract came to an end along with the 2019/20 season. 

Liphakoe Spokesperson Tau Sebatli said for them it was an easy choice since Marai played for the team early in his career and he understands the club’s culture and vision. 

“When he became available after his departure from LCS, we had to move fast because he is one of our own and he knows and understands the team,” Sebatli said.  

“We have agreed with him to guide the team to a constant feature in the top eight and the management is going to make things easy for him so that we get that target at the end of the season.  

“There are more signins whose announcements will be made as soon as they have been finalised. These will be players the coach has already earmarked, who are Premier League material from outside the country,” Sebatli said, adding that they want to assemble a competitive and disciplined squad.

Liphakoe finished the 2019/20 Econet Premier League season in 11th position and the arrival of Marai has raised expectations for a better finish come the end of the new season.

Since their arrival in the top-flight league in 2015, the Mighty Hawks have struggled to make an impressive finish only managing to finish 11th in 2016, 10th in 2017, ninth in 2018, eighth in 2019 and 11th in 2020. 

Sebatli said the former Lesotho International was the best candidate Liphakoe could get to help them achieve what they want which is to see the team become regulars in the top eight. 

“Our expectation is that he also brings a new dimension to the team play which in turn will keep us competitive in the premier league,” he said.    

Marai is one of the most respected and highly regarded coaches in the country having had a stint as Likuena interim coach in the 2019 Confederation of Southern African Football Association and also currently assistant coach to Likuena Head coach Thabo Senong.   

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